Hard Rock presents Revolutions Per Minute

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In some ways, Brooklyn-based pop phenom Bebe Rexha personifies the 21st century music biz ideal – she’s predominantly known as a guest singer, she ignores the old-school concept of an album release, her image is perfectly crafted for Instagram and her voice is manipulated into what is essentially a computer noise. In short, she’s a completely digital creature… and it’s kind of perfect.
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Last week, I queued up in cyberspace to drop the better part of a week’s pay on tickets to see U2 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Much like they did 30 years ago, U2 are selling out stadiums and playing songs from The Joshua Tree. For a band so wary of using nostalgia to remain relevant, taking The Joshua Tree on the road represents an unmistakable shift in the band’s thinking. Continue reading

Ed Sheeran’s success as a pop star has always been a bit of a head-scratcher to me. As a pop writer, I get it – he’s got an undeniable ability to tap into the current zeitgeist and crafts a 3-minute earworm as well as anyone this side of Sweden – but as a performer he just seems sort of vanilla. Shows you what I know.

This morning, he released two singles from his upcoming album, Divide. Let’s give ‘em a listen.
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A truly seismic shift in popular culture happened 26 years ago today – but no one involved had any idea that what they were doing would fundamentally change the world, spell the commercial death of an entire musical genre and usher in what was the last true rock ‘n’ roll youth movement.

On this date in 1991, Nirvana signed with Geffen’s DGC records – a major label.

They sold out, maaaan!
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December 8th has been cemented forever in the history of popular culture as a BAD DAY. On that date in 1980, John Lennon was senselessly murdered by some loser whose name I don’t remember. Twenty-four years later – to the day – another nameless loser climbed onstage at the Alrosa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio and shot Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott to death. What the hell is wrong with people?
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New York City has its fair share of landmarks – the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, the Brooklyn Bridge… it’s overwhelming at times. But the streets of New York have also been the backdrop for some of the most memorable and iconic album covers of all time. RPM’s Earl Douglas – a native New Yorker – took a walk through the city to find these legendary spots. Fortunately for us, he brought his camera along.
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Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988) were pivotal cassettes for those of us raised on MTV and their longevity isn’t surprising to anyone who was paying attention back then. Less dangerous than Mötley Crüe and unafraid of a pop hook (or three), Bon Jovi’s sound made for one of the easiest transitions into the 1990’s and beyond. Thirty years after “Livin’ On a Prayer” dominated the airwaves, Bon Jovi return with a little anger, a lot of shiny production tricks and not much to say on This House Is Not For Sale.
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