The Beatles

6 of Music’s Most Controversial Samples

Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of pop music: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, she who can do no wrong, admitted to doing something wrong. “XO,” a track off of Queen Bey’s recent surprise album, features about six seconds of audio from a NASA public relations officer narrating the 1986 Challenger explosion. Apologizing for the perceived insensitivity to ABC news, Beyoncé wrote: “My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster…The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.” The mega-star is hardly the first to provoke a backlash with sampled material, however. Here’s our list of clips that ruffled a few feathers. … Read More

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The 25 Most Memorable Moments in TV History

It’s not an oft-celebrated anniversary, but 62 years ago this week, television as we know it was launched. It was 1951, and President Harry Truman was speaking before a conference in San Francisco about the treaty that officially ended the country’s post-WWII occupation of Japan. That’s not what was noteworthy — it was how he did it. The speech was broadcast across the nation, with 87 stations in 47 cities picking up Truman’s remarks via microwave technology. So for the first time, people all over the country could watch the same thing, at the same time. And thus was born television’s greatest purpose: as a uniting force, on which we all saw the same things, and came together to react to them with laughter, shock, joy, and tears. In honor of the occasion, we’ve selected the 25 most memorable television moments from the ensuing… Read More

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9 Pop Songs With Secret Queer Subtexts

This week on Noisey, blogger Ryan Bassil comes up with a pretty wild conspiracy theory: that Hot Fuss, the 2004 debut album from The Killers, is actually all about “a murderous homosexual relationship.” Sure, it sounds a little far-fetched, but using pop lyrics — which are a lot of the time pretty vague — to back up a theory is a fun thing to do. So it got us thinking: how many other popular songs have secret queer subtexts? You might be surprised to see what we dug up.  … Read More

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The Albums That Flavorwire Staffers Heard Too Early

Earlier this month, we surveyed Flavorwire central for a selection of the books we read too early. The responses we got were both informative and a whole lot of fun, so we decided we’d extend the concept into some of the other areas of culture that we enjoy here — starting with the world of music, and the albums that various staff members listened to at perilously tender ages. From the raunchy through the political to the mildly disconcerting, here are the albums that we listened to too early (including, curiously, not one but two Beatles records.) What are yours? … Read More

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The 50 Greatest Summer Albums, 1963-2013

Summer officially arrives this week, bringing with it afternoons in the park and rooftop parties and beaches. The thing is, though, every summer needs a soundtrack, and while every year there seems to be a rush to anoint a certain tune The Song of the Summer™, Flavorwire decided to go one better and choose a quintessential summer album for every one of the past 50 years, as something of a sequel to last month’s list of the 50 albums you need to own, 1963-2013. Click through and get… Read More

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Nostalgic Photos of Iconic Records and the Vintage Turntables That First Played Them

Using Rolling Stone‘s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time as a resource, photographer Kai Schäfer has catalogued landmark records in music history and the vintage turntables that first played them in his World Records series. Photos of famous vinyl — including albums by Bowie, Elvis, and Joy Division — recall a time when collecting music was a tactile and perhaps more intimate experience. “It is also a private time machi­ne to the spectator: music as an impulse to remember bits and pieces of one’s personal history, a release of former thoughts and feelings. The soundtrack of your life,” the artist writes. Schäfer is celebrating his first solo exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, which runs until July 13. Visit the gallery’s website to find out how you can see over 100 photos of your favorite albums. Click through for a preview. … Read More

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Flavorwire Roundup: The First CDs We Ever Bought

Despite how easy it is to go online and quickly download an entire album in just a few seconds (which we are paying for, of course), there’s nothing particularly special in purchasing music from the ether. Gone are the days of driving to the mall to browse through the racks of CDs at Camelot Music and Sam Goody; no longer can we fill out multiple Columbia House order forms for seemingly free albums. CDs were the last physical music objects, and our first purchases say a lot about us as much and the time in which we grew up. (For the record, I like to tell everyone my first CD was the Reality Bites soundtrack, but it was, regrettably, the revival Broadway cast recording of Grease! featuring Brooke Shields as Rizzo.) I asked a few friends from across the Internet to share their first CD purchases. Click through after the jump, and share your stories in the comments!  … Read More

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10 Albums Made for Incredibly Strange (And Sometimes Hilarious) Reasons

As you’ve probably heard, there’s a new Lauryn Hill song. It sounds… well, it sounds like it was recorded in a hurry to pay off a tax bill, which is apparently exactly the case (unfortunately, the quickie release didn’t save Hill from a three-month jail sentence). The vocals and lyrics are decent enough, but the beat sounds like it was slapped together in GarageBand with deadlines in mind. Of course, Hill’s not exactly the first artist to have to make a record under duress; here’s a selection of records made for weird reasons over the years, some hilarious, some sadly rather less so. … Read More

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