Thunder Birds

Thunder Birds

The sound that thundered the Singapore people with hit songs “My Lonely Heart and You were Made For Me To Love” was sung by the popular Singapore band which was formed in 1963, by a tie up with a guitarist Derrick Fitzerald. This band waved the Singapore stage for nearly two decades. The Thunderbirds won the competition, which was held between Beatles versus Rolling Stones. This is the competition for the band to prove themselves and to turn as professional musicians. Later on they wrote and composed many songs and performed on various stages on the Singapore island for a decade. Finally The local Singapore band settled in the year 1980 at the Stately York Hotel. The two hit songs with which the band popularized were released in the year 1966 and 1967 respectively. The Thunderbirds band with some internal changes continued until 2007 in York Hotel and their career came to an end with the drop out of Fitzgerald (who had attacked a stroke) and with the decline in the business in the bar.

Team mates:

As days pass on, there are some additional singers added to the band and some internal changes within the band. In place of Derrick, his brother Harvey was replaced to play guitar, and Fitzgerald's brother Ivan a vocalist, newly added to the band. At the end of 1960, an Organist, a bass instrument player and drums player were also added to the band. The most remarkable change occurred in the year 1975, that is, by the marriage and migration of Fitzgerald and Heather Batchen.

Career record:

Philips company was the first to release the band's first EP under its label in 1965. The slide guitarist, Derrick Fitzerald, who produced a distinctive sound just by using a comb composed a hit song My Lonely Heart… which thundered the Singapore and Malaysia. This song reached the heights of the Singapore music scenario and inspired the youth of island people . The band in the year 1967 released its second recording which was composed and presented by Harvey Fitzgerald. The second composition (“You Were Made…….) is an exceptional hit by Thunderbirds for the decade.

Stage Entries:

Usually the band troops move frequently, but , this local band stayed constantly from the beginning of their introduction. They stayed for a long time in the York Hotel until 2007, with internal changes between the singers. The band gave many stage entries starting at the British military camps in Seletar and at night club on Orchard Road. The band gave regular performances at The Pub, American Club and Sheraton Hotel and at last they settled at the York Hotel. In this hotel they nearly played for many years. In 2004 the band along with 11 other members raised the funds and supported the bar authority not to close the bar.

Looking back the Singapore's music in 60's was still alive and inspiring the youth of today. What a notable change made in pop music with the local singers and made that decade as a “Golden” Era of Singapore for pop music. London is known as the best country for its pop music in 1960's, but the local band of Singapore, beat the record of London and remarked as the best music time for the youth in nation. The band stayed permanently in Singapore, and the local band made popular and got fame internationally.

Popular Compositions:

In the year 1965, Some of the popular compositions of The Thunder Bird's band are Little Lady and I'm Sad As I Can Be, My Lonely Heart and Hey Girl in the year 1966, and in the year 1967 My Hula Girl and You were Made For Me To Love respectively.

Looking back to 2015

Looking back to 2015

In the middle of 2015, Singapore is facing its golden age in their music industry. Youngster interest on the indie label makes a big expansion for the Singapore music artists to launch their masterpiece. It has open a path for the local artist to bloom inside their own country independently. This period is called to be a spotlight on Singapore independently music scene.

Their masterpiece didn't just sell a lot of copies, but also in a good quality. Some of those great examples of shining albums are Charlie Lim's (Time/Space), The Observatory's (August is the Cruelest), .gif's (soma), and Cheating Sons'.

This Golden Age has made a lot of new artists to pop out from all over the country to show their talent of music. A lot of music production has been made through several label recording, and songwriting skills have been tested. But in turn, the rivalry between the Singaporean music artists have become harder. It also raised a topic about concerning the limitations to become a music artist in Singapore. It's a pity to block embedded talent of the musician of Singapore, for real. Although they can do the touring and the promotion to maintain their existence.

What progress could Singapore music artists have in 2016? What a surprised, that just for about one-year interval, they didn't make a progress at all. The other way, they already sinking on their career. Slowly, they have begun to stop recording or performing music. Even some of them have sold their music equipment through Carousell.

Here are some of their testimonial; One of a musician, who didn't want his name to be told, said that he knew he couldn't avoid performing to cover Ed Sheeran after receiving the check that has come in from Spotify. While the others said that his album has exploded in 2015, and one of the main singles of that album has racked over 50,000 viewers on YouTube, but he has to spend a lot for his show to support that album. At first, he's so happy, but after SG50 (referred to 50 years Independence Day of Singapore), he thought that he didn't feel inspired anymore. Another musician also said the same thing after performing Baybeats, that she feels her existence in the music industry has been threatened. On her last time performance, she felt humiliated because she only performed at Hood Bar with only 20 people's audience. She's so angry and said that she doesn't want to feel unwanted anymore. As the impact, she decided to move to Berlin and apply for a job as a freelance photographer to find herself.

A lot of another musician will announce their exit from music industry in the following weeks. But, what about the still-existed artist? When they've been asked, this is what they said: Joel, from the “I Killed the Murder Victim” band has said that they didn't want to do it anymore, but they still have a lot of contracts to covers Parkway Drive. Our other source is James, a singer, and also a songwriter. He also didn't sure about his career in the music industry at this uncertain period. He chose to get focus to his doctorate like his father always want him to. But it is a good thing that he decided to keep his acoustic guitar and the synthesizers with him for his leisure activities, and not throwing it. His talent may be proven again someday, in a better condition than this period. It's a shame to have such a lot of talent to be devastated and shattered into pieces. They have been disappointed and give up to this condition. But who knows, that someday they talent will be avowed by the world.

The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.

Getting back on early 1990's, there's a famous name comes up in mind when talking about Hip-Hop Music. Christopher Wallace, known better as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was started his career history in music as a rapper. Furthermore, He had a big influence in socializing and developing modern Hip-Hop music. He had taken place in a rivalry between West Coast and East Coast Hip-Hop music of this decade (1994 until 1997).

But the bad news that he is getting famous that day, not because of his song, but merely because of this West Coast and East Coast Hip-Hop war. Big and Tupac Shakur had become an important character at that age. The dispute between this two sides didn't look like which one is better at making a qualified hip-hop music, or any other things related to music talent in a healthy and positive way, but it is like a gangster war between those sides, not only in their music but including a real robbery and shooting. This commotion always catches media and society attention.

Actually, Big has a very good talent in music, especially at making lyrics. As always, he is said to be a very good storyteller through his hip-hop music. His lyrics are easy to understand, his rap style flowing like a dialogue between characters in his song. His message is clear, so the audience may understand the complexity of the rhyme structure, also with the wordplay he added to the song. We can see this clearly in one of his song, "Warning".

Big's music, as the other similar genres of rap music at that age, contains violence, alcohol, drugs, and criminals. He also encloses his actual life in his song. This is also the contents of his album, "Ready to Die". This album's concept is telling his life from when he was born, his rough childhood moments, grow into a teenager and meet drugs, his struggle in life, starts his career in music, until before this album was released. Ready to Die albums by Bad Boy Records, produced between collaboration with Sean ‘Puffy' Combs, Easy Mo Bee, DJ Premiers, and Blues Brothers.

Before release his first album ‘Ready to Die' in 1997, Big has been shot to death by an unknown assailant while driving in Los Angeles. That was the end of his full of story life journey. While still mourning for him, 16 days later, his album has been released. This album has become a big kick in hip-hop music industry. This is approved by this album becoming a number one in album charts in U.S. and receive a Diamond certification, which is rare for a hip-hop album to receive such a certification. It has become a classic, due to its no-doubt quality. It's too bad that he could just make this one album, and U.S. has lost one of the best hip-hop lyricists.

Biggie's life, as his story tells in his album, has not had a beautiful life. He has been through a lot of things and full of struggle. At childhood, he already has a rough life, surrounded by drug addicts and the dealers. Once he becomes a teenager, not surprised, he sells drugs. He also goes to jail for 9 months. After his debut in the music industry, he still lives in such a condition, because he has to deal with gangster life through gang-banging due to this West Coast and East Coast dispute. He feels the excitement for living such a life. But, despite that, there's also fierce of violence and a lot of threats happen to like a vicious circle, he cannot get out from. His commercial name ‘Notorious' might be coming from his story of life.

The awfully convenient world of vinyl

The awfully convenient world of vinyl

Maybe nowadays, it became greater the number of releases and special editions on vinyl where many are designed in a more modern, extravagant and colorful way, and even with new packaging. These "special" editions are the justification for dealing with the high price tag that the Record Store Day charge.

For fans and music lovers who buy physical albums, which is growing increasingly, even in the age of Spotify, it becomes a depressing disadvantage - where the release of new albums took the place of independent labels. Collecting Vinyl experience gained exclusive releases, regardless of the fact that the record was not the only supply source of musical material. Long before Napster piracy music was already present in countries like the former Soviet Union and Taiwan were the counterfeit vinyl production, and this practice has grown on a large scale by dealing with highly collectable items.

In the 70s, while the US soldiers were in Taiwan, they could hear all the new releases through locally pressed records, which these days are desired and purchased due to the eccentric and colorful layers of vinyl. Meanwhile, the black market bustled releases of Western rock music for music lovers of Soviet Russia by a few even pressed records discarded in floras of X-rays.

One of the most recent news was the fact of how the new album "The life of Pablo by Kanye West have hit record stores with clear and pink vinyl. Ironically, Kanye while his statements in the past were notoriously hyperbolic, this once declared that "the Life of Pablo" will never be released in physical formats where the album was not released on vinyl or by his record company or for him.

These copies were sold online or in record stores sold by an independent company in Europe have been identified that are scams. These copies were found errors in the order of the tracks that were leaked in the records of printed matter MP3s.

This version, of course, gained notoriety where everyone is eager to see the launch. However, this type of occurrence is not common where many other titles of R & B and hip-hop, especially the popular, obtained the bootleg treatment.

Titles like Drake If you are reading this it's too late, Rihanna ANTI, Frank Ocean ORANGE channel, A $ AP Rocky At.Long.Last.A $ AP and 'Death Grips Exmilitary were sold as colored vinyl by pirates online retailer of digital vinyl, based in Germany making these albums exhausted completely, and in turn causing the prices would rise highly.

Because these records are printed in relatively limited quantities, as was the increase in demand, the prices charged by them had a high scary. Vinyl for the Orange channel came to be sold at a cost of up to £ 39.52 (SG $ 80) for second-hand dealers in comparison to the price sold in the beginning it was € 12.95 (SG $ 19.70).

What is the real reason to buy bootleg vinyl? The hi-fi vinyl audio reproduction is one of the clearest vinyl sales of reasons for many of these consumers - even this point is something entirely debatable - and possibly all, of the bootlegs, are from the MP3 files and CD sources unless these two are not accessible enough to get Studio- quality data. Vinyl medium is delicate, and a source of sub-par can ruin a good piece of wax.

One of the reasons for the high demand of the sale of vinyl albums is the fact that most of these bão albums were released in a due manner by vinyl tape recorders, making the needs of desperate collectors and fetishists for these securities were met by smugglers.

In the US and throughout Europe, the bootlegging new vinyl goes far beyond hip-hop titles, and you can find many other types of recordings, including live recordings. The lavish prices and the original presses led consumers to invest in buying classic albums without any reissue, which have also been pirated, leading them to buy bootlegs Aenima of Tool albums, Valentine and My Bloody Loveless.

The bootleg vinyl will continue its course of production from the moment that demand persists, even with the new fact that police raided and seized the largest underground pressing plant in Europe. Many of these vinyl collectors still supply their wants by the sound quality of many titles - even with the parallel unhappiness in contrast, as the artists lose their work profits from the because of this piracy.

It is not an easy solution to the problem. However, it is clear that the artists do not lose anything if they emit their titles on vinyl. However dealing with the global demand is not easy or even fight the smugglers who seem to have been sending messages too quickly to address these needs.

In March 2015, after the digital release, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, was published in wax and as soon as it was also pirated. These vinyl sales have gained frightening proportions and preaches a model of one of the bastions of recent die sales of these albums until then considered traditional. However, as the labels do not appear to meet the demands and needs of consumers, surely someone will do it for them.