Talk Show: The story of the Stone Temple Pilots album that never was

Tuesday, December 19, 2023
The formation of Talk Show, a band that emerged as a side project from the members of Stone Temple Pilots (STP), marks an intriguing chapter in the landscape of 90s rock music. 

This journey begins with the members of STP - Dean DeLeo (guitar), Robert DeLeo (bass), and Eric Kretz (drums) - at a time when Scott Weiland, the lead singer of STP, was grappling with personal issues, leading to a temporary hiatus for the band.

Dave Coutts, previously the frontman for the band Ten Inch Men, was brought into the fold, adding a new dynamic to the group. Coutts' distinct vocal style and musical approach were set to differentiate Talk Show from STP's well-established sound. 

Talk Show's self-titled debut album, released in 1997, showcased a sound that, while bearing some stylistic resemblances to STP, carved out its unique identity. 

The album leaned towards alternative rock, displaying a blend of melodic hooks and a slightly more pop-oriented approach compared to STP's grunge-heavy style.

talk show stp album cover 1997 dace coutts

The dynamic within Talk Show was notably different from that of STP. 

With the DeLeo brothers and Kretz having a strong musical chemistry from their time in STP, they brought a cohesive and experienced approach to the project. Dave Coutts, with his background and influences, contributed to a fresh perspective. 

While Talk Show received moderate critical acclaim, it did not achieve the commercial success anticipated. 

The album's singles, such as "Hello Hello," showcased the band's potential, but they failed to make a significant impact in the crowded alternative rock scene of the late 90s. The band disbanded shortly after, with the members returning to their respective projects.

Talk Show's brief existence and its album remain a point of interest for fans of STP and 90s rock aficionados. It serves as a testament to the versatility and creativity of the musicians involved and remains a noteworthy footnote in the era's musical tapestry. The project highlights the fluid nature of rock bands during this period, where side projects and collaborations were common, reflecting the exploratory spirit of the musicians and the genre itself.

About the album itself:

"Talk Show," the singular album by the group formed from the members of Stone Temple Pilots with Dave Coutts, represents a significant but often overlooked chapter in the story of '90s alternative rock. 

This album, released in 1997, blends the hard-edged musicality of STP with the distinct vocal and lyrical stylings of Coutts, creating a unique sound that both diverges from and complements the members' primary band.

Key Singles and Popular Songs

  • "Hello Hello" stands out as the album's most notable single. This track, with its catchy chorus and polished production, had the potential to be a significant hit. It exemplifies the group's ability to meld alternative rock with pop sensibilities, creating a sound that was both radio-friendly and artistically rich.

  • "Everybody Loves My Car" offers a different flavor, showcasing the band's playful side. The track's upbeat tempo and humorous lyrics mark a departure from the often serious tone of alternative rock, highlighting the band's versatility and willingness to experiment.

Deep Cuts and Fan Favorites

Tracks like "Peeling an Orange" (covered for a long time by Wellington's Silverfish) and "So Long" demonstrate the album's range, moving into more introspective and emotional territory. These songs, characterized by their softer melodies and reflective lyrics, offer a deeper insight into the band's artistic sensibilities.

"End of the World" and "Hide" delve into darker, more complex themes. These tracks are notable for their thematic depth and intricate musical arrangements, showcasing the band's ability to explore various moods and styles within the alternative rock genre.

Trivia and Behind-the-Scenes Insights

The production process of the album is a point of interest. The band members, particularly the DeLeo brothers, took a hands-on approach, blending vintage and modern recording techniques to create a sound that was both contemporary and rooted in rock tradition.

The choice to work with Dave Coutts, a departure from STP's usual lineup, added a fresh dimension to the music. Coutts' unique vocal style and lyrical approach were instrumental in differentiating Talk Show's sound from that of STP.

Despite the album's artistic strengths, it didn't achieve the commercial success it arguably deserved. This has led to "Talk Show" becoming something of a cult favorite, admired by fans for its distinct place in the pantheon of '90s rock.

In sum, "Talk Show" stands as a fascinating footnote in the history of alternative rock. The album's diverse tracks—from the catchy hooks of "Hello Hello" to the introspective melodies of "Peeling an Orange"—highlight the creative breadth and depth of its members. While it may not have reached the commercial heights of STP's work, the album remains a cherished piece among fans and a testament to the diverse musical landscape of the era.

The production of "Talk Show" was overseen by the band members themselves, particularly the DeLeo brothers, known for their meticulous attention to detail and profound understanding of musical textures. This self-production approach allowed for a more personal and introspective crafting of the album, ensuring that each track resonated with the band's artistic vision. 

Recorded in a period where digital recording was becoming more prevalent, "Talk Show" benefitted from a blend of analog warmth and digital clarity. The choice of studios and recording equipment played a significant role in capturing the essence of the songs. 

The band leaned towards using a mix of vintage and modern gear, striking a balance between classic rock tones and contemporary clarity. This approach is evident in tracks like "Hello Hello" and "Everybody Loves My Car," where the crispness of the recording complements the energetic performances.

The engineering and mixing of the album were critical in achieving the desired sound. The use of layering, particularly in the guitar tracks, is a standout feature, showcasing Dean DeLeo's skill in creating rich, textured soundscapes. 

The bass and drum sounds were meticulously crafted to provide a solid foundation for the songs, with Robert DeLeo's bass lines and Eric Kretz's drumming being both prominent and nuanced.

Inspiration for the lyrics of Everyday is a Winding Road by Sheryl Crow

Thursday, December 14, 2023

 In the world of music, inspiration often transcends personal experiences, weaving through the lives of different artists. A profound example of this is the connection between Paul Hester, the drummer from the renowned band Crowded House, and the creation of Sheryl Crow's hit song "Every Day is a Winding Road." This article delves into the intricate relationship between Hester's life journey and how it became a pivotal inspiration for one of the 90s' most memorable songs.

Every Day is a Winding Road lyrics inspiration
You can call me.... Miss. 

Paul Hester: The Man Behind the Music

Paul Hester, an Australian musician best known as the drummer for Crowded House, was a vibrant and charismatic figure in the music industry. His journey with Crowded House was marked by significant success, but it was also shadowed by his struggles with severe depression. These challenges led to his abrupt departure from the band during a tour, leaving a profound impact on his bandmates and fans alike.

Hester's struggle was not hidden from his peers. His candid conversation with Crowded House lead singer Neil Finn, where he remarked, “Every day is a winding road,” poignantly reflected his internal battles. This statement, simple yet profound, encapsulated the unpredictability and complexity of his daily life, struggling with mental health issues.

paul hester every day is a winding road lyric

Sheryl Crow: Artistic Resonance and Inspiration

Sheryl Crow, an emerging artist in the early 90s, had the opportunity to open for Crowded House while promoting her first album. It was during this time she witnessed Hester's sudden and impactful departure from the band. This event, coupled with her interactions and observations of Hester, sparked a creative flame within Crow.

In the midst of touring, Crow began penning songs for her self-titled follow-up album. Among these was “Everyday is a Winding Road,” a track that would not only achieve commercial success but also hold deep personal significance for Crow. Collaborating with Jeff Trott and Brian MacLeod, Crow crafted a song that was an ode to Hester’s life – acknowledging both its vibrancy and its struggles.

Lyrics and Legacy: A Tribute to Life's Journey

The lyrics of “Everyday is a Winding Road” are replete with references to Hester’s life and Crow’s artistic reflections. The line, "He's got a daughter he calls Easter, she was born on a Tuesday Night," subtly nods to Hester’s daughter, Sunday, and Crow's debut album, "Tuesday Night Music Club." These lyrics intertwine personal elements of both artists’ lives, creating a tapestry of shared experiences and emotional depth.

Neil Finn, Crowded House’s lead singer, contributed backing vocals to the track, adding another layer of connection and tribute to Hester. The song's appearance in the 1996 film "Phenomenon," starring John Travolta, further propelled its reach, embedding its narrative in the cultural zeitgeist of the time.

every day is a winding road sheryl crow lyrics meaning

The Evolving Resonance of a Song

"Every Day is a Winding Road" took on a new, somber significance following Paul Hester's tragic death by suicide in 2005. For Crow, the song transformed from a tribute to a friend's struggles to a haunting reminder of his absence. In her words, the song resonated more powerfully over time, adapting and evolving in its meaning.

Crow’s reflection on the track echoes the universal nature of music – its ability to grow and change with time, paralleling the experiences of both the artist and the audience. Her acknowledgment that some songs "have taken on a new life form" underscores the living, breathing essence of music, especially when it is deeply rooted in real human experiences.


The story behind "Every Day is a Winding Road" is a testament to the power of music as a medium for expression, connection, and remembrance. Paul Hester's life and his poignant words provided a canvas for Sheryl Crow to create a song that not only resonated with many but also served as a lasting tribute to Hester's life and struggles. In the interplay of their lives and art, Crow and Hester remind us that music can be a profound vehicle for understanding, coping, and remembering the winding roads we all travel.

Lady with the Spinning Head - how it fits into U2's Achtung Baby era

Thursday, November 23, 2023
In the annals of rock music, few albums have marked such a distinctive and daring shift in a band's musical direction as U2's seminal 1991 release, "Achtung Baby". This album not only redefined U2's sound but also reshaped the landscape of early-90s rock music. Within this transformative album lies a lesser-known gem, "Lady With The Spinning Head", a track that encapsulates the experimental spirit and the bold departure from convention that characterizes the entire album.

As the 1980s drew to a close, U2 was already a band with significant achievements and a distinctive sound, known for their soaring anthems and politically charged lyrics. However, as the new decade dawned, they found themselves at a crossroads, seeking to reinvent and rejuvenate their music in the face of a rapidly changing musical landscape. This period of introspection and experimentation gave birth to "Achtung Baby", an album that stands as a testament to the band's willingness to dismantle their established identity and venture into uncharted territories.

Within this context, "Lady With The Spinning Head" emerges as a pivotal piece. While ultimately it was not included on the final album released,  played a crucial role in the band's creative process during this era. The song is a confluence of new sonic textures, lyrical introspection, and innovative production techniques. 

history of lady with the spinning head

Before delving into the intricacies of "Lady With The Spinning Head", it's essential to contextualize the environment in which U2 was operating prior to "Achtung Baby". The late 1980s saw U2 riding high on the success of albums like "The Joshua Tree" and "Rattle and Hum". These albums had cemented their status as one of the world's leading rock bands, known for their anthemic sound and Bono's earnest, politically-charged lyrics. Despite this success, there was a growing sense within the band that their musical expression needed a new direction, a sentiment that became the catalyst for the sonic overhaul that was to come.

The end of the 1980s was a period marked by significant global changes. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War era heralded a new social and political climate. These global shifts paralleled U2's own desire for change, inspiring them to step away from the anthemic rock that had defined their previous work. The band sought a sound that reflected the uncertainties and complexities of the new decade, leading them to experiment with alternative rock and electronic dance music influences.

The creation of "Achtung Baby" began in earnest in Berlin, a city itself symbolic of change and rebirth. The band chose the Hansa Studios, famous for its association with groundbreaking artists like David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Here, amidst the cultural and political ferment of a reunified Berlin, U2 began deconstructing their established sound. The initial sessions were challenging, marked by creative tensions and disagreements about the musical direction. However, it was within this environment of uncertainty and experimentation that "Lady With The Spinning Head" and other tracks began to take shape.

The story of "Lady With The Spinning Head" begins in the midst of U2's creative upheaval during the "Achtung Baby" sessions. This song, like many others from this era, was born out of a period of intense experimentation and exploration. It was a time when the band was actively seeking to redefine their musical identity, and this track emerged as a pivotal piece in this puzzle.

The inspiration for the song stemmed from a combination of personal experiences and the band's collective desire to explore new musical landscapes. Bono, the band's iconic frontman, often drew from his own life and the world around him for lyrical content, and this song was no exception. The imagery and metaphors in the lyrics reflect a sense of disorientation and fascination, themes that resonated with the band's experiences in the rapidly changing world of the early 1990s.

"Lady With The Spinning Head" was initially developed during jam sessions, a common practice for U2 where improvisation played a key role in song creation. These sessions were characterized by a free-form approach, allowing each band member to contribute and experiment without the constraints of a predetermined structure. The Edge, known for his innovative guitar work, experimented with new sounds and effects, adding a distinctive texture to the song.

The rhythm section, comprising bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr., also played a crucial role in the song's development. Their willingness to adapt and explore new rhythmic patterns was crucial in shaping the track's dynamic and engaging tempo.

As the song evolved, it underwent several iterations, each adding layers and depth to its composition. The band worked closely with producers such as Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, who were instrumental in guiding the song's development and helping U2 navigate their new sonic territory. Their input was vital in refining the song, ensuring that it aligned with the overall vision for "Achtung Baby".

Bono's lyrics in "Lady With The Spinning Head" are a tapestry of vivid imagery and introspective themes. The lyrics reflect a sense of disorientation and complexity, mirroring the band's own state of transition. Bono uses metaphorical language to convey feelings of confusion and fascination, which were prevalent themes in many of U2's songs from this period.

The song's lyrical content also demonstrates a shift from the overtly political and social commentary of earlier albums to a more personal and introspective style. This shift is indicative of the band's broader evolution during the "Achtung Baby" era, where personal introspection and existential themes became more prominent in their music.

"Lady With The Spinning Head" not only reflects the experimental nature of "Achtung Baby" but also influenced the sound of other tracks on the album. Elements of the song's composition can be heard in more prominent tracks like "The Fly" and "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)", showcasing its significance in the overall texture of the album.

This track's contribution to the album's sound highlights U2's creative process during this era. It serves as a testament to the band's ability to push musical boundaries and explore new artistic territories, setting a precedent for their future work.

In the broader context of U2's discography, "Lady With The Spinning Head" occupies a special place. It encapsulates the band's adventurous spirit during the early 1990s and stands as a symbol of their ability to reinvent themselves. While it may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as some of their other hits, its significance lies in its contribution to one of the most important phases in the band's history.

The legacy of "Lady With The Spinning Head" is multifaceted. It is a testament to U2's artistic courage, a key influence on their future work, and a pivotal piece in the puzzle that is "Achtung Baby". Its evolution and the legacy it has left behind offer a fascinating insight into one of the most transformative periods in U2's storied career.

How The Beatles met each other

The Beatles, a band synonymous with a cultural revolution in music, had their origins in Liverpool, England, during the 1950s. This iconic band's formation is a fascinating tale of chance encounters and musical synergy.

John Lennon, the founding member, started his musical journey with a skiffle group called the Quarrymen in 1956. This genre, a blend of jazz, blues, and folk, was popular in the UK at the time. The pivotal moment for the Beatles came on July 6, 1957, during a performance by the Quarrymen at the St. Peter's Church garden fête in Woolton, Liverpool. 

Here, 15-year-old Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon. McCartney's skill on the guitar and his knowledge of songs by Eddie Cochran and Little Richard impressed Lennon, leading to McCartney joining the Quarrymen.

The addition of McCartney marked a turning point for the group. The Lennon-McCartney partnership rapidly became the group's cornerstone, with the duo starting to write songs together. This collaboration would later produce some of the 20th century's most iconic music.


The introduction of George Harrison into the group marked a significant evolution in its dynamic. Harrison, who was a friend of McCartney's from the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, brought a new dimension to the ensemble. Despite being only 14 years old at the time, his exceptional talent on the guitar was undeniable. McCartney, aware of Harrison's skills, facilitated a meeting between him and Lennon. 

Initially, Lennon was hesitant due to Harrison's young age, questioning his maturity and experience. However, Harrison's audition for the group, showcasing his proficiency in playing intricate guitar solos and his familiarity with a wide range of rock and roll music, dispelled any doubts. His performance not only impressed Lennon but also demonstrated a level of musicianship that was rare for someone of his age.

Harrison's inclusion in the group was more than just an addition of a new member; it signified a shift towards a more serious and dedicated approach to their music. His influence was not limited to his guitar skills. Harrison brought with him a unique sensibility and creativity that would later become integral to the Beatles' sound. He had a keen ear for musical detail and a penchant for experimenting with different styles and techniques, which would contribute significantly to the band's innovative and evolving sound.

The final and crucial addition to the band that would become The Beatles was Ringo Starr, then known by his birth name, Richard Starkey. 

Before joining The Beatles, Starr was a member of another popular Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, where he had honed his skills as a drummer. His connection with The Beatles began in Hamburg, Germany, where both bands had been part of the same vibrant music scene. Starr's performances in Hamburg had already made an impression on The Beatles, showcasing his solid and distinctive drumming style, which differed significantly from that of their then-drummer, Pete Best.

In August 1962, Starr's transition into The Beatles occurred, marking a pivotal moment in the band's evolution. This change was not without controversy; Pete Best had been with the band during their formative years and his replacement by Starr caused some initial discontent among fans. However, Starr's inclusion brought a new dynamic to the group. His drumming style, characterized by a steady, reliable rhythm and an ability to adapt to the band's evolving musical styles, was a perfect fit for The Beatles' sound. His easygoing personality and sense of humor also gelled well with the rest of the band, creating a cohesive and harmonious group dynamic.

Through these formative years, the band, initially known as the Quarrymen, underwent several name changes, including the Silver Beetles, before finally settling on The Beatles. The name was a play on the word "beat," reflecting their status as a "beat group." Despite early struggles, playing in small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg, they achieved their first major success with the release of their single "Love Me Do" in 1962.

The Beatles' journey from a group of teenagers in Liverpool to global superstardom is a testament to their talent, innovation, and the unique chemistry they shared. They didn't just transform the landscape of popular music; they also influenced the cultural fabric of the era. Even decades after their breakup, The Beatles continue to be a significant influence in music, fashion, and pop culture, illustrating the enduring impact of their collaboration. Their story, from serendipitous meetings to musical evolution, mirrors the cultural shifts of their time and highlights the extraordinary impact a small group of talented individuals can have on the world.

The Tale of Glen Hansard's 'The Horse

Sunday, November 19, 2023
Glen Hansard's legendary guitar, affectionately known as "The Horse," is not just an instrument; it's a central character in the narrative of his music career. This guitar, with its well-worn appearance, has been the birthplace of numerous songs that resonate deeply with audiences. Let's integrate examples of songs that Hansard wrote with this guitar into our discussion of its significance.

Glen Hansard's guitar, a Takamine NP15, has been an integral part of his musical journey. It's characterized by its rugged appearance, bearing the marks of a lifetime of use. This guitar has been Hansard's companion through various stages of his career, instrumental in the creation of songs that have touched the hearts of many.

Each scratch and dent on "The Horse" symbolizes stories and emotions, many of which have been transformed into songs. For instance, the song "Falling Slowly," from the movie "Once," was composed on this guitar. 

This song, which won an Academy Award, is a poignant example of how Hansard's experiences and emotions have been channeled through "The Horse." Similarly, songs like "Leave" and "Lies" from the same film carry the essence of the guitar's character in their melodies and lyrics.

glen hansard takamine horse

The unique sound quality of "The Horse," shaped by its worn condition, has significantly influenced Hansard's music. 

Songs like "When Your Mind's Made Up" and "Say It to Me Now" showcase the dynamic range that Hansard achieves with his guitar, from soft, tender strums to powerful, emotive chords. These songs demonstrate how the guitar's character complements Hansard's storytelling and emotional expression in music.

"The Horse" has played a pivotal role in shaping the cultural impact of Hansard's work. The songs written on this guitar have become anthems of the indie music scene. For instance, "Falling Slowly" has become an iconic song, representing the spirit of independent music and the power of simple, heartfelt storytelling. This song, along with others like "Gold" and "The Hill," contribute to the legacy of "The Horse," making it an iconic symbol in the world of music.

the horse takamine guitar glen hansard history

Incorporating these songs into the discussion about "The Horse" enriches our understanding of the guitar's significance. It's not just a musical instrument; it's a vessel that has carried stories, emotions, and experiences into the world through song. 

Glen Hansard's attachment to and interaction with "The Horse" is a vivid example of the symbiotic relationship between a musician and their instrument. The songs written on this guitar stand as testament to its enduring legacy in the realm of music and storytelling, making it an object of fascination and inspiration for music lovers and artists globally.

U2 lyrics which explore The Troubles of Ireland

Saturday, November 18, 2023
U2's engagement with Ireland's "The Troubles," a period of ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s until the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, is a profound example of how music can reflect and influence social and political contexts.

The band, originating from Dublin, Ireland, has a unique perspective on this conflict, which they have expressed through their lyrics. In discussing U2's songs that address "The Troubles," it's crucial to explore how they capture the essence of this complex period, the emotional depth of their lyrics, and their impact both within and beyond Ireland.

u2 ireland troubles song lyrics

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" - War Album

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" stands out for its vivid portrayal of the horrors of "The Troubles," particularly focusing on the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972 in Derry.

This event, where British soldiers shot unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders, stands as one of the most tragic days in the history of the conflict. Bono's lyrics in the song are a visceral response to this event, filled with imagery that conveys shock, horror, and a deep sense of injustice.

The song's opening lines, "I can't believe the news today," immediately set a tone of disbelief and mourning. Moreover, Bono draws a powerful parallel between this modern-day atrocity and the ancient crucifixion of Jesus Christ, suggesting a timeless cycle of senseless violence and suffering. This comparison not only amplifies the song's emotional impact but also frames the events in Derry within a larger context of historical and moral significance.

Unlike many songs written in times of conflict, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" does not glorify the struggle or take a partisan stance. Instead, it stands out as a poignant plea against violence. This distinction is crucial as it positions the song not as a "rebel song" advocating for armed resistance, but as a call for peace and reconciliation. The song's chorus, "How long, how long must we sing this song?" is a lamentation over the enduring nature of the conflict and an appeal for its resolution. This thematic choice by U2 is significant, particularly given the charged atmosphere of the time. The band's decision to use their music as a vehicle for advocating peace, rather than exacerbating divisions, speaks to their role not just as musicians, but as peace activists within a deeply divided society.

The song's journey from creation to cultural impact is notable. Initially, the lyrics included explicit references to both the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), reflecting the song's direct engagement with the conflict's key players. However, these references were ultimately removed from the final version. This act of self-editing, far from diluting the song's message, arguably made it more universally powerful and accessible.

 Misinterpretations of the song, which some construed as a rallying cry for further conflict, were directly addressed by Bono in live performances. He often introduced the song by stating, "This song is not a rebel song," reiterating its true intent as an anthem for peace. This clarification was crucial in ensuring that the song's message was not co-opted or misunderstood in the charged political climate of the time. 

"Please" - Pop Album

Regarded as one of the standout tracks from the "Pop" album, "Please" directly addresses the Irish conflict. It uses religious imagery to depict the collision of faith and warfare, symbolizing the ongoing strife in Ireland.

The song masterfully depicts the intersection of faith and conflict, symbolizing the persistent struggle that plagued Ireland for decades. Through its lyrics, "Please" extends beyond a mere narrative of conflict, metaphorically addressing the political leaders who were at the forefront of the peace process in Northern Ireland. Bono's lyrics are a subtle yet powerful plea for these leaders to expedite the path to peace, reflecting the urgency and desperation felt by many during this tumultuous time.

Significantly, the single's cover art features the images of four key Northern Irish politicians: Gerry Adams of Sinn FéinDavid Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party, Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party, and John Hume of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. Each of these figures played a pivotal role in the peace negotiations and the eventual signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which marked a significant step towards resolving the conflict. The inclusion of their images on the cover serves as a direct and poignant message, symbolizing the song's call for political action and reconciliation.

Bono cleverly intertwines the theme of personal relationships within the song, presenting "Please" in a dual light. This artistic choice adds a layer of complexity to the track, allowing it to resonate on multiple levels. On one hand, the song can be interpreted as a commentary on a tumultuous personal relationship, while on the other, it mirrors the broader societal and political relationships that were under strain during "The Troubles." This dual interpretation underscores the song's depth and the band's nuanced approach to songwriting, making "Please" not only a standout track of the "Pop" album but also a significant piece in the cultural narrative of the Northern Irish conflict.

"Van Diemen's Land" - Rattle and Hum Album

"Van Diemen's Land" from U2's "Rattle and Hum" album stands as a poignant reflection on the Irish history of resistance and endurance. The song, performed by The Edge, pays homage to John Boyle O'Reilly, a Fenian poet and activist deported to Australia (then known as Van Diemen's Land) for his role in the Irish Republican Brotherhood. 

This selection of O'Reilly as the focal point is significant; his story embodies the struggles of political exile, a recurring theme in Irish history, and the unyielding spirit of resistance against colonial rule. The Edge's choice to center the song around O'Reilly not only acknowledges the historical fight for Irish independence but also underlines the intertwined nature of art, poetry, and political activism in shaping Irish national identity.

Musically, "Van Diemen's Land" differs from U2’s typical style, primarily due to The Edge taking on the role of the lead vocalist. His voice brings a unique and haunting quality to the song, differentiating it from Bono's more familiar lead vocals but maintaining the band's characteristic emotional intensity. The lyrics are crafted in a manner reminiscent of traditional Irish ballads, which are often steeped in historical and political contexts. This song, therefore, serves as a bridge connecting U2’s contemporary musical expression with the rich tapestry of Irish cultural and political history. Given Rattle and Hum was U2's foray into American Blues, it perhaps serves as a stamp on the album, it's a statement of fact, we Irish lads are here - and now we are gonna hook up with Billie Holiday. 

"The Troubles" - Songs of Innocence Album

"The Troubles" a track from U2's album "Songs of Innocence," represents a profound and layered exploration of conflict, both on a personal and a national scale. At its surface, the song appears to address the issue of domestic violence, a theme that Bono has indicated is central to the piece. 

However, this personal narrative is deftly interwoven with the broader historical context of "The Troubles". This dual interpretation is no coincidence; the song's title itself is a clear nod to this turbulent period. By paralleling the turmoil within a household with the societal upheaval of "The Troubles," the song creates a powerful metaphor for the way personal and political strife can mirror and influence each other. The personal becomes a microcosm of the national, as the song subtly suggests that the tensions and conflicts within a home can reflect the larger divisions and struggles within a society.

Expanding on this metaphor, "The Troubles" also speaks to the album's broader theme of coming of age in Ireland during this tumultuous time. The inclusion of this track in "Songs of Innocence" is a poignant reminder of how the backdrop of political unrest can permeate and shape personal experiences and identities. For U2, a band that grew up in the shadow of this conflict, the song is not just a commentary on a specific period in Irish history, but a reflection on how such a period molds individuals and communities. 

The song, therefore, becomes more than just a narrative about domestic or societal conflict; it is a meditation on the formation of identity in the face of adversity. The lyrics, while dealing with specific themes of violence and struggle, resonate with a broader sense of resilience and the search for peace, both within the walls of a home and in the broader canvas of a nation riven by conflict. This depth gives the song a universal appeal, making it relevant not just to those who experienced "The Troubles" firsthand, but to anyone who understands the complex interplay between personal and political battles..

Ryan Adam's rolls with it as he covers Oasis' What's the Story (Morning Glory)?

Friday, November 17, 2023
Ryan Adams, an American singer-songwriter and musician, has long been celebrated for his unique approach to music, especially when it comes to covering songs. Known for his prolific output and genre-spanning works, Adams has carved a niche for himself in the music world, not just through his original songs but also through his distinctive covers of popular tracks.

One of his most well-received covers is his rendition of "Wonderwall" by Oasis, featured on his 2004 album "Love is Hell." This particular cover stood out for its emotive and raw acoustic style, a stark contrast to the original's Britpop exuberance. It showcased Adams' ability to take a well-known song and reimagine it in a way that felt entirely new, yet deeply respectful to the source material.

In 2023, Ryan Adams took his affinity for covers a step further by undertaking an ambitious project: covering Oasis' entire "Morning Glory" album. This move not only highlights his daring as an artist but also underscores his deep appreciation and understanding of the music he chooses to cover. This article will delve into Adams' journey through his cover projects, with a special focus on this latest endeavor, exploring how it fits into his broader artistic trajectory.

ryan adams oasis morning glory cover

Ryan Adams’ cover of "Wonderwall," originally performed by Oasis, stands as a seminal point in his career. Released on his 2004 album "Love is Hell," this version strips down the Britpop anthem to its emotional core. Adams’ rendition is a subdued, introspective take, featuring a gentle acoustic guitar and his characteristic, introspective vocal style. This transformation of the song into a melancholic ballad redefined its essence and introduced it to a new audience.

The original "Wonderwall" by Oasis is characterized by its upbeat tempo, rich instrumentation, and Liam Gallagher's distinctive vocal delivery, resonating with the Britpop era's vibrant energy. In contrast, Adams' interpretation presents a starkly different soundscape. His version is slower, more reflective, and deeply personal. The acoustic guitar and soft vocals replace the original's electric fervor, highlighting the song's lyrical vulnerability. By doing so, Adams transforms "Wonderwall" from a pop anthem into an intimate confessional.

Ryan Adams' cover of "Wonderwall" had a profound impact on his career and reputation. It not only won critical acclaim but also resonated with a wide audience, including Noel Gallagher, the original songwriter, who praised Adams' version for its emotional depth. This cover demonstrated Adams' exceptional skill in reinterpreting songs in a way that is both respectful to the original and artistically innovative. It cemented his status not just as a talented songwriter and performer but also as a masterful interpreter of others' works. The success of this cover paved the way for future projects, showcasing Adams' unique ability to bridge genres and eras through his music.

In 2023, Ryan Adams embarked on an audacious musical endeavor: covering Oasis' iconic album "Morning Glory" in its entirety. This project was not just a tribute to one of the seminal albums of the 90s but also a testament to Adams' ambitious artistic vision. "Morning Glory," known for its quintessential Britpop sound and anthemic tracks, presented a unique challenge and opportunity for Adams to reimagine these classics through his distinctive lens.

Adams approached "Morning Glory" with a deep reverence for the original, yet infused it with his own artistic identity. His rendition is characterized by a more subdued, introspective atmosphere compared to the original's high-energy, guitar-driven sound. Where Oasis relied on bold, expansive production, Adams opted for minimalism and simplicity. His version leans heavily on acoustic arrangements, soft vocal harmonies, and a contemplative mood that brings a new level of emotional depth to the album.

Key tracks like "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger" are transformed from anthemic sing-alongs into poignant ballads. "Champagne Supernova," known for its sprawling, psychedelic sound, is reinterpreted with a stripped-down arrangement, highlighting the song’s lyrical introspection.

Comparing Adams' covers with the original Oasis versions reveals a fascinating study in contrasts. For instance, the original "Morning Glory" is a product of its time, encapsulating the Britpop era's swagger and vitality. Tracks like "Roll With It" and "Some Might Say" are replete with electric guitar riffs and a sense of rebellious optimism.

A Pattern of Reinvention: The '1989' Album Cover

Ryan Adams' decision to cover Taylor Swift's "1989" in 2015 was a continuation of his pattern of reinterpreting entire albums, adding a unique twist to existing masterpieces. This project followed his well-received cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall" and preceded his ambitious reimagining of the "Morning Glory" album. By choosing "1989," a pop album vastly different from his usual style, Adams demonstrated his versatility and fearless approach to music.

The reception of Adams' "1989" was notably positive, both critically and among fans. His version offered a complete reworking of Swift's synth-pop sound into a style more akin to heartland rock and folk. This transformation was seen as a bold artistic statement, bridging the gap between pop and indie genres. Critics applauded Adams for not only paying homage to Swift's songwriting but also for adding his own emotional depth and maturity to the songs.

The success of this album had a significant impact on Adams' career. It introduced him to a broader audience, some of whom were more familiar with pop music than indie or alternative genres. The project also reinforced Adams' reputation as a versatile and daring artist, unafraid to cross genre boundaries and reinterpret contemporary hits in his own style.

On "1989," Adams' stylistic choices are a departure from the original's upbeat, synth-driven production. He reimagined the album with a moody, introspective vibe, using acoustic guitars, piano, and a softer vocal delivery. This approach brought a new level of emotional gravity to Swift's lyrics, which, in the original, were often overshadowed by the upbeat pop arrangements.

Tracks like "Shake It Off" and "Bad Blood," known for their high-energy pop beats, were transformed into melancholic, introspective ballads. "Out of the Woods," originally a fast-paced synth-pop track, was reinterpreted with a slower tempo and a focus on the lyrics' storytelling, bringing a sense of earnestness and vulnerability.

Exploring Diverse Musical Legacies: The Elvis Covers

Ryan Adams ventured into the realm of classic rock 'n' roll by covering songs from the legendary Elvis Presley. These covers, interspersed throughout his career, are a testament to Adams' respect and admiration for the musical giants who preceded him. Covering Elvis, an icon known for his distinctive voice and charismatic stage presence, was a challenge that Adams approached with his unique blend of introspection and reverence.


The Elvis covers hold a special place in Ryan Adams' discography. They represent not just a nod to the roots of rock music but also a personal homage to an artist who has influenced generations of musicians. These covers are distinct from Adams' other projects, such as his complete album reimaginings, as they delve into a more traditional and foundational era of music. They highlight Adams' ability to bridge the gap between contemporary indie rock and the classic rock 'n' roll of Elvis Presley.

In covering a song like "Can't Help Falling in Love," Adams turns the original, a buoyant and romantic ballad, into a deeply moving and reflective piece. His version emphasizes the song’s inherent poignancy, showcasing his skill in reinterpreting well-known tracks in a way that uncovers new layers of meaning and emotion.

Similarly, his cover of "Suspicious Minds" transforms the upbeat, rhythm-driven original into a somber, contemplative piece, focusing on the song's themes of mistrust and relationship turmoil. This reinterpretation exemplifies Adams' ability to recontextualize a song, turning a classic pop track into a deeply personal and emotionally resonant performance.

Ryan Adams’ inclination towards covering a diverse range of songs and entire albums offers a window into his broader artistic philosophy. This tendency reflects a deep-rooted respect for musical history and a desire to connect with and reinterpret the work of other artists, ranging from contemporary pop stars like Taylor Swift to rock legends like Elvis Presley. Adams' covers are not just tributes but are explorations that blend his unique sensibilities with the original artists' intents, creating a bridge between different musical eras and genres.
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