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The Fender Rhodes piano is a musical instrument that was first introduced in the 1960s by the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, named after its inventor, Harold Rhodes. It is an electric piano that uses hammers to strike metal tines, which are then amplified and played through a speaker system.

In 1959, Fender began by marketing the Piano Bass, a cut-down version of Rhodes' invention consisting of the 32 bottom keys. The full-size instrument was not produced until after Fender's sale to CBS in 1965.

The Fender Rhodes was a popular instrument in many genres of music, including jazz, rock, and pop. Its warm, mellow sound and expressive capabilities made it a favorite among keyboard players. It has been played by a wide range of artists, including Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and Chick Corea.

There were several models of the Fender Rhodes electric piano produced over the years, each with its own unique features and sound. Some of the most well-known models include the Rhodes Suitcase Piano, the Rhodes Stage Piano, and the Rhodes Mark I, Mark II, and Mark V. Each model has its own unique features and sound characteristics. The Mark I, for example, has a brighter, more percussive sound, while the Mark II has a more mellow and rounded tone.

Despite its popularity, production of the Fender Rhodes electric piano ceased in the early 1980s due to financial troubles at Fender. However, the instrument has continued to be used by musicians and can be found in many recordings to this day. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the Fender Rhodes, and some companies have even started producing new versions of the instrument.

The Fender Rhodes electric piano has become a classic instrument, and its unique sound has been widely imitated by digital keyboards and software synthesizers. However, many musicians still prefer the original instrument for its authentic sound and feel.

Trivia: While considered an electronic instrument, the sounds are produced mechanically by the tines and tone bars. As such, the instrument can still be played, albeit very softly, without being powered, similar to an electric guitar.

Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

"Deja Vu" is the second studio album by the folk rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). It was released March 11, 1970 on Atlantic Records, and it is considered to be one of the most influential and successful albums of the 1970s.

The album features songs written and performed by all four members of the group, including Stephen Stills' "Carry On" and "4+20," Graham Nash's "Teach Your Children" and "Our House," Neil Young's "Helpless" and "Country Girl," and David Crosby's "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Déjà Vu."

The album's sound blends folk, rock, and country music with intricate vocal harmonies and skilled musicianship. It also features guest appearances by musicians like Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful.

"Deja Vu" was a commercial and critical success, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and selling over 8 million copies in the United States alone. It is considered to be a landmark album of the 1960s and 1970s, and has been included on numerous "best albums of all time" lists.

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Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

The self-titled debut album by the rock band Foreigner was released on March 8, 1977. The album was a huge commercial success, reaching the top 4 on the US album charts and earning a 5x Platinum certification in the United States alone.

The album features some of the band's most well-known and beloved hits, including "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice," and "Long, Long Way from Home." The songs are characterized by their catchy hooks, powerful guitar riffs, and the soaring vocals of lead singer Lou Gramm.

The album was produced by John Sinclair, who had previously worked with artists like The Rolling Stones and The Who, and Gary Lyons. Sinclair's production style, which emphasized a big, polished sound, helped to make the album a commercial and critical success.

"Foreigner" is widely considered a classic of the rock genre, and it helped to establish the band as one of the most popular acts of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

"Dark Side of the Moon" is a critically acclaimed concept album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released March 1, 1973 and has since become one of the best-selling and most well-known albums of all time.

The album consists of ten tracks that flow seamlessly together, creating a continuous and cohesive listening experience, and exploring themes of life, death, time and the human experience. The songs are accompanied by sound effects, spoken word passages, and experimental musical techniques, making for a truly immersive and unique listening experience.

Some of the most popular songs on the album include "Money," "Time," and "Us and Them," all of which have become classic rock staples. "Money" features a distinctive bassline and cash register sound effects, while "Time" has a memorable clock ticking rhythm and powerful lyrics about the fleeting nature of time. "Us and Them" is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that explores the theme of war and conflict.

The album was produced by Pink Floyd's longtime collaborator, Alan Parsons, and features the iconic album cover designed by Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis, depicting a prism refracting light into a rainbow.

"Dark Side of the Moon" was a massive commercial success upon its release, spending a record-breaking 937 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart and selling more than 45 million copies worldwide. It has been praised for its musical innovation, conceptual depth, and enduring relevance, making it a true landmark in the history of rock music.

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Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

"Something/Anything?" is a double album by American musician Todd Rundgren, released in February 1972. The album was his third solo release and is considered one of his best and most commercially successful works. I acquired this album almost by accident. My mother was at the local Musicland store buying some LPs for herself, and asked the cashier if he could recommend anything her son might like. This was his answer.

I found the unusual format of the album, the undeniable musicianship and the songs written with a range of emotion, from the sentimental to the quirky to the outright weird, quite refreshing given the bubblegum pop I was used to. These same elements would later draw me to groups like Crack The Sky.

Three sides of the album were recorded at I.D. Sound Studios, Los Angeles, and on an 8-track recorder and some studio equipment at his rented home in the Hollywood Hills, with Rundgren playing all instruments and singing all vocals, as well as being the producer. Two songs on side three were recorded with other musicians live in studio at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York. The final side contained a number of tracks recorded live in the studio without any overdubs, save for a short snippet of archive recordings from the 1960s.

The album features a diverse range of musical styles, from power pop and rock to soul and ballads, and is notable for Rundgren's mastery of multiple instruments, including guitar, piano, bass, and drums, as well as his exceptional vocal range.

The album's first side, described as "A Bouquet of Ear-catching Melodies", features a collection of short, catchy pop songs, including the hit single "I Saw the Light", "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Wolfman Jack". The second side is described as "The Cerebral Side", while the third side, "The Kid Gets Heavy", features a mix of songs, including the single "Couldn't I Just Tell You".

The final side of the album, "Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta)" features songs recorded live in studio at The Record Plant in New York, and includes the hit "Hello, It's Me," which was a reworked version of a song from Rundgren's previous band, The Nazz.

"Something/Anything?" was a critical and commercial success, reaching #29 on the US Billboard 200 chart and earning Rundgren a large and loyal fanbase. It has since been widely regarded as a classic of the singer-songwriter genre, and was included in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

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Classic Rock History: Forgotten 45s: 

"Rock Me" is a song by the Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf. Originally written for the 1968 feature film "Candy," it was released as the B-side to the single "Jupiter Child" on February 22, 1969 and appeared on their album "At Your Birthday Party." The single would later be issued with "Rock Me" as the A-side. The song features a hard-driving rhythm and blues-influenced guitar riffs, and it became one of the band's biggest hits.

"Rock Me" was written by Steppenwolf's lead singer, John Kay, and its lyrics have been taken to mean different things, including the objectification of women or concerns about the environment. The song's chorus repeats the phrase "rock me, baby, rock me, baby, all night long" with Kay's powerful vocals driving the song forward.

"Rock Me" was a commercial success, reaching number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It also helped to establish Steppenwolf as one of the leading bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band's music was known for its high-energy sound and socially conscious lyrics, and "Rock Me" is a prime example of their style.

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Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

The Yes Album is the third studio album by the British progressive rock band Yes, released February 19, 1971. It is considered a landmark album in the band's discography and a seminal work in the progressive rock genre.

The Yes Album marked a significant departure from the band's previous albums, featuring longer and more complex compositions with intricate arrangements and virtuosic instrumental performances. It was also the first album to feature guitarist Steve Howe, who replaced Peter Banks after the band's second album.

The album's track listing includes classic Yes songs such as "Yours Is No Disgrace," "Starship Trooper," and "I've Seen All Good People." These songs showcase the band's signature style, blending rock, jazz, and classical influences into a unique and innovative sound.

The Yes Album has been widely praised for its musical ambition, technical proficiency, and creative vision. It remains a beloved album among progressive rock fans and a key influence on subsequent generations of musicians.

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Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

"Fleetwood Mac" is a British-American rock band that formed in 1967. "Rumours" is their eleventh studio album, released February 4, 1977. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time and is the band's most successful album, having sold over 45 million copies worldwide.

The album features the classic lineup of Fleetwood Mac, including Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood. It was recorded in California in 1976 and produced by Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut.

"Rumours" includes some of Fleetwood Mac's most iconic songs, such as "Go Your Own Way," "Don't Stop," and "Dreams," which was the band's only number-one single. The album also features notable tracks such as "The Chain," "You Make Loving Fun," and "Gold Dust Woman."

The lyrics on "Rumours" are famously autobiographical and reveal the turmoil and heartbreak that the band members were experiencing at the time, with several songs reflecting the romantic relationships and breakups among the band members. Despite the personal struggles that inspired the album, "Rumours" has a buoyant and catchy sound, with lush harmonies and intricate guitar work.

"Rumours" is considered a masterpiece of 1970s rock and remains a beloved classic to this day. Its enduring popularity and influence can be seen in the numerous covers, tributes, and references to the album that continue to appear in popular culture.

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Classic Rock History: Landmark Albums: 

"Harvest" is a critically acclaimed album by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young, released February 1, 1972. It is widely considered to be one of his most successful and influential albums.

The album features a mix of acoustic and electric songs, and is known for its introspective and melancholic tone. It includes some of Young's most famous songs, such as "Heart of Gold," which became his only #1 hit in the US, "Old Man," "The Needle and the Damage Done," and "Alabama."

"Harvest" was recorded with a group of musicians known as The Stray Gators, which included Kenny Buttrey on drums, Tim Drummond on bass, Jack Nitzsche on piano, and Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar. James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash also contributed backing vocals on a few of the tracks.

In 1971, Young performed a few of the songs that would later appear on "Harvest" during a one-man acoustic live show on the BBC. He apologized to the small studio audience for playing some songs they were not familiar with, including "Old Man", "A Man Needs A Maid", and "Heart of Gold". They may have been the first to hear these Neil Young classics performed publicly.

The album was a commercial success, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US, and receiving a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has since been regarded as a classic of the singer-songwriter genre and is often cited as one of the greatest albums of all time.

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Tools Of The Trade: 

The Gibson SG is an electric guitar model that was introduced by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1961. It has since become a popular guitar among many different styles of music, from rock to blues to metal.

The SG has a solid body with a double-cutaway design that allows easy access to the upper frets. The body is typically made of mahogany, and the neck is also typically made of mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard.

The SG is known for its bright and punchy tone, thanks in part to its dual humbucking pickups. These pickups use two coils to cancel out noise and produce a fuller, warmer tone than single-coil pickups. If desired, the SG could also be had with the earlier P90 pickups, popular for their bright-but-thicker tone than other single-coil pickups.

The SG was originally designed as an update to the moderately successful Les Paul model (1952-1960), and one for which Paul had no input. Paul disapproved and subsequently requested his name be removed from the guitar which, although officially renamed the SG, were still seen with the Les Paul name on them as late as 1963.

The SG has gone through a number of different variations and updates over the years, with different models featuring different pickups, neck profiles, and other specifications. Some of the most famous SG players include Angus Young of AC/DC, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, and Derek Trucks of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

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