Archive for April, 2011

Artist Feature: Stevie Nicks

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

For Stevie Nicks 63rd birthday, which just happened to be yesterday, she has the pleasure of looking forward to the May 3rd release of her seventh studio album, In your dreams, which critics and fans alike seem equally enthusiastic about. But with a career like Nicks, its no wonder she’s producing what’s sure to be another hit album. Join RK as we take a quick look at this witchy woman’s amazing music and songs all here to sing on Red Karaoke.

 

Though Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974 without much big name success up until that point (just some small gigs opening for Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix) she had already been writing some of the band’s and her own biggest hits. In fact, Landslide and Rhiannon, two of Nicks’ most well known singles, were written in an effort to organize and express her feelings about following a career in music and her tumultuous relationship with future band mate Lindsey Buckingham.

 

 

After joining Fleetwood Mac, their second album Rumours, released in 1977, became a huge success, giving the band four top ten hits, including the first and only number 1 single, Dreams, written by Stevie Nicks herself. Not only that, but Rumours went on to sell so many copies that it is the ninth highest selling album of all time.

 

Oddly enough, the album also contained two future hits, Silver Springs and Go your own way, though they remained relatively obscure until their re-release on retrospective albums in 1992.

 

 

After Fleetwood Mac’s release of Tusk in 1979 and Nicks time on her own doing duets with Kenny Loggins on Whenever I call you friend and John Stewart on Gold, she decided to begin a simultaneous solo career and released the hit album Bella Donna in 1981.

 

Bella Donna, along with her continuous success with Fleetwood Mac, gained Nicks so much notoriety that Rolling Stoned dubbed her the reigning Queen of Rock and Roll. She proved them right, producing six more hit solo albums, garnering eight Grammy nominations, not counting five she took part in with Fleetwood Mac and joining them for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions in 1988.

 

 

While Nicks and all her fans wait anxiously for her next success In your dreams, you can sing all of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac’s hits here on Red Karaoke, with our flash recording system or with the fun Virtua Sing!

RK Fave Five: Britney Spears

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

With Britney Spears featured on the number one song on Billboard, Rihanna’s remix of S&M, and her new single Till the world ends still in the top ten, there is no doubt the Britney Spears has, once again, made a huge comeback with her newest album. Join RK as we take a look at just five of our favorite singles from the pop princess graduated to Femme Fatale.

 

 

When Baby one more time landed on the radio and Spears first uncovered her infamous belly button dressed as a school girl in its infamous music video, all that came before was put into a new context. Spears took over, knocking the likes of Christina Aguilera and Mandy Moore out of the ring and drawing comparisons to the queen of pop Madonna. With her first single, Spears came to the scene ready to take over.

 

 

And then she did it again. After the success of her first album, there was no stopping her. Winning every pop Grammy nomination and award, Oops I did it again charted the number one spot in the US, Australia and all over Europe. Add the fame of dating N’Sync member and fellow Mickey Mouse clubber Justin Timberlake and it seemed Spears could do no wrong.

 

 

The ballad Everytime was Spears answer to Justin Timberlake’s accusatory single Cry me a river, and Spears successful venture into writing. The single was accompanied by a controversial music video, but still managed to win Spears plenty of notoriety and gave Spears a more grown up looking image.

 

 

With her album Into the zone, Spears had finally left bubblegum pop land and entered the grown up club scene. Her hit single Toxic won the Grammy for best dance single and showed the world that Spears was going to do just fine in the club scene.

 

 

And last but not least, one of Britney’s newest hits, Hold it against me, shows that even after kids, tumultuous relationships and enough drama to feed the paparazzi for decades, Spears still knows how to own the top of the charts.

 

You can sing all of these Britney Spears favorites or any of her other hit singles here on Red Karaoke.

Sing your way to better health

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Lately it seems like one researcher after another has found correlations between music and health. From lowering blood pressure to better brain health, it seems there are tons of new studies that may just prove that Red Karaoke-ers are getting a head start on becoming healthier with each song they sing.

 

In Japan, researchers at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine found that people who took part in bimonthly group sessions built around music, including singing their favorite tunes, lowered their systolic blood pressure almost as much as losing ten pounds or cutting salt from the diet would have. What about those groups that didn’t sing? Their blood pressure didn’t budge.

 

But singing isn’t just for preventative health, it also can be great therapy. In England, there are “Singing for breathing workshops” which target individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, making singing a tool for breathing easier and feeling better.

 

And they’re not just feeling better because they’re singing the music they love. Singing actually calms down the sympathetic nervous system, directly affected by your own levels of stress, and boosts activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you to become more relaxed and calm.

 

Even if you suffer from stage fright when it comes to singing (which we know many Red Karaoke-ers aren’t shy about at all), you may be able to learn something about your health from that too! Scientists from the University of California have been using singing in order to better understand neurodegenerative conditions and believe that embarrassment when singing or listening to your own voice may show a healthier frontal lobe and help determine future levels of mental health.

 

But let’s face it, all of us here at Red Karaoke already knew how great singing was, these researchers just confirmed it for us. So go find a friend and tell them how great singing really is and invite them to sing one of these fun songs we think are just what the doctor ordered.

 

Here comes the sun by The Beatles
One love by Bob Marley
Bubbly by Colbie Caillat
Heart of life

Red Karaoke Special: LAMICE

Monday, April 11th, 2011

LAMICE has been composing since the age of 16. Her atypical course led her to manage both a consultant career in new media and her passion for Music. As an expatriate of Lebanese origin, living in France, LAMICE aims to address the uprooted, voluntary or involuntary expatriates, torn in their “multicultural” identity. She recounts her life away from family and close friends through music - her sanctuary.

 

LAMICE believes in music without borders, without labels, free as a bird. Her music is influenced by many styles due to her exposure, as an expatriate, to various cultures. Her single “SUMMER DAYS” flirts with many of them: Occidental and Oriental pop, Latino rhythms, electronic vibes, etc.

 

LAMICE envisions her music to be fully intangible and fluid. She found herself in our modern world where technology transcends geographical borders and where the individual in constant relocation settles abroad.

 

LAMICE belongs to this worldwide sphere of interacting people. She collaborated, virtually and in person, with professionals around the world (France, USA, Lebanon, Germany, Venezuela, Spain and Brazil) in order to create what she calls “web oriented entertainment for worldwide web users”.

 

 

LAMICE’s first e-single “SUMMER DAYS” is a message of unity, multicultural awareness, open mindedness and positive thinking, built around the base of true friendship. A group of young, tanned, happy and eager international expatriates, drawn together by the similarity of their countries at war gave life to the song “SUMMER DAYS” in Cyprus summer of 92. Despite their different backgrounds and upbringing, their bond was able to transcend all racial and religious beliefs, binding their hearts together through their passion for music under the breathtaking heat of summer.

 

When the time came to share their goodbyes, the realizations that music brought them together came to light, but the world and circumstances would make it difficult for them to keep in touch within this uncertain future. They came together at their farewell evening and penned the song “SUMMER DAYS”, etching their friendship and affirming their confidence to always preserve it. The song “SUMMER DAYS” envisions freshness and positive moments amidst the sharp taste of nostalgia.

 

The “World fusion pop” theme is arranged by well-known African-Lebanese producer Alain Sawaya, with the “Electro-House” mix produced by rising French DJ, Julien Majorel and the video is the execution of French creative director, Franck Janin.

 

Red Karaoke has teamed up with LAMICE to bring you a multi-language karaoke of “SUMMER DAYS”, coinciding with it’s e-single web launch, so that you can record your own interpretation of “SUMMER DAYS” in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, or Italian and share it with your friends online.

Artist Feature: Billie Holiday

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Today is the would be birthday of none other than Billie Holiday, one of Jazz’s most significant and beautiful voices. Join Red Karaoke as we take a look at the tumultuous life and hard career of “Lady Day” and sing all of her classics here on RK.

 

Born Eleanora Fagan in Philidelphia to Sadie Fagan, Billie Holiday, one of the most prominent voices in Jazz history never led a life of ease despite her unimaginable success during her life and even more so afterwords. As a child she was often between different homes, aunts and family members of her mothers, and by age 11 had dropped out of school, working with her mother in a restaurant and afterwords on the streets.

 

It was during Holiday’s time living in a brothel with her mother that she was introduced to the music of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, inspiring her to move to Harlem and begin performing the songs she loved. After being arrested, Holiday decided to really pursue a music career at the age of 14, taking the name Billie from her favorite actress and Holiday from her probably father, Clarence Halliday, another musician.

 

 

At the age of 18 she began recording with John Hammond, a producer at a nightclub called Covan’s where she was a lead singer, and recorder her first hits “Your mother’s song in law” and “Riffin the scotch”. In 1935 she entered the studio once again with Hammond and pianist Teddy Wilson and collaborated on “What a little moonlight can do” as well as “Miss brown to you”. Though the producers at first wanted a sound similar to the already popular Cleo Brown, after the success of Holiday’s unique sound they began considering her in her own right.

 

Holiday signed to Brunswick Records and began recording pedestrian pop tuns such as “24 hours a day” or “Yankee Doodle” but with a swing and jazz twist. She had the chance to perform with Count Basie and Artie Shaw, and Holiday’s recording of Easy Living became a jazz standard and one of her most imitated singles.

 

 

After signing with Columbia records and working under The Commodores label, Holiday began achieving her mainstream success. In 1944 Holiday began re-recording old songs such as My old flame, How am I to know, I’m yours and her 2005 Grammy hall of fame inducted song Embraceable you.

 

In 1941, Holiday co-wrote and recorded “God bless the child”, a song inspired by her mother, which later become her most popular and covered record as well as a top 3 single of the year, selling over a million records. Soon after, Holiday began recording under Decca Records and using string ensembles to present her voice in a new light.

 

 

In 1948 Holiday played at Carnegie Hall to a sold out crowd. In 1956, Holiday performed once again at Carnegie Hall, this time for two packed audiences, a huge accomplishment, particularly for a black artist at the time. The second show was turned into a live album dubbed The Essential Billie Holiday with thirteen tracks.

 

On May 31st, 1959, Holiday was taken to the hospital due to suffering from liver and heart disease attributed to a long life filled with hardships and bad habits. She remained at the hospital for a month and died of cirrhosis on July 17th.

 

You can sing all of the jazz standards Billie Holiday here on Red Karaoke, record them in Virtua Sing, or download your favorites to take with you anywhere.

RK’s Fave Five: Nirvana

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

There are few moments that stand out in grunge rock history, a relatively modern genre, as much as the loss of one of the leading figures in its music movement, Kurt Cobain. We wanted to commemorate Cobain and his influential time with Nirvana by naming our five favorite Nirvana songs to rock out to here on Red Karaoke.

 

 

 

One of everyone’s favorite Nirvana singles is one of Red Karaoke’s favorites too. The first breakthrough song of their first breakthrough album Nevermind, Smells like teen spirit is one of grunge rock’s biggest anthems and considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time, especially to sing along to on Red Karaoke.

 

 

 

Almost as famous as that last hit is the eighth track from Nirvana’s breakthrough album Nevermind, Drain you, and another favorite of RK’s. Unique in the number of guitar overdubs it contains compared to Cobain’s other tracks and his personal taste, the sound of Drain you is as unique as its impromptu interpretation Cobain came up with on the spot during recording.

 

 

 

Also from Nevermind, Come as you are is one of the quintessential Nirvana hits. Released after Smells like teen spirit, Come as your are also was their second top 40 hit reaching number 32 and gaining almost as much hype as their first grunge anthem.

 

 

 

Reaching the 16th spot on the Billboard chart after its 1992 release was Nirvana’s third single from Nevermind, Lithium, another hit single solidifying the success of their grunge rock takeover and the cementing the album Nevermind as one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

 

 

 

Last on our list is the last single Cobain recorded with Nirvana before the rock world lost his voice forever, You know you’re right, well known for its popularity as well as the legal drama between Nirvana band member Dave Grohl and Cobain’s partner Courtney Love that ensued prior to the single’s release.

 

You record all of these Nirvana singles here on Red Karaoke, along with many more, or download the instrumental mp3 versions to take with you anywhere.