Little Steven's Underground Garage column, produced exclusively for Billboard. The charts are a combination of airplay from the Underground Garage format and coolness.
IT'S WONDERFUL to be here; it's certainly a thrill.
A work of genius is usually a singular effort, or at best the interaction of two or three lifelong, complementary collaborators. The Beatles' "Love" by Cirque du Soleil is the rare exception.
It is truly mind-blowingly marvelous and magical, transporting you to another place, a better place, a place you probably have not visited since the first time you heard the Beatles' music.
I was invited to the opening the other night, and all I can say is, wicked cool!
The concept began with a conversation between George Harrison and Cirque founder Guy Laliberté, who then passed the ball to director/writer Dominic Champagne and music producers Sir George Martin and son Giles.
I would need three times the space to begin to describe the show, so let's just touch on the music. It's a combination of 30 or so songs, song fragments, studio dialogue, demos and alternate takes. I asked Giles, "Where do you begin with such a complex undertaking?"
He told me, "With the music, dummy. Where do you think?"
All right, he was more diplomatic than that.
They worked two-and-a-half years on it, and I told him what blew my mind the most were the fabulous layering of one song's melody on another's chord changes or rhythm. "Tomorrow Never Knows" with "Within You Without You," a backward "Sun King" with "Something," "Nowhere Man" with "Blue Jay Way" with so much more.
If you can't get to the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas where I hope it will run forever, fear not. A record is going to be released.
See you next week.
COOLEST GARAGE SONGS
1. "Bang Bang," Dirty Pretty Things
2. "If It Takes a Lifetime," Cheap Trick
3."Country Girl," Primal Scream
4. "Everyone Knows," Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
5. "La La Land," Go-Go's
6. "I'd Rather Be With You," Kaiser George & the High-Risers
7. "King of the Freaks," the Maggots
8. "Life Wasted," Pearl Jam
9. "Hands," the Raconteurs
10. "After the Garden," Neil Young
COOLEST GARAGE ALBUMS
1. "Rockford," Cheap Trick
2. "Sinner," Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
3. "Broken Boy Soldiers," the Raconteurs
4. "Flat-Pack Philosophy," Buzzcocks
5. "Riot City Blues," Primal Scream
6. "Living With War," Neil Young
7. "Pearl Jam," Pearl Jam
8. "Transatlantic Dynamite!" Kaiser George & the High-Risers
9. "God Bless the Go-Go's," Go-Go's
10. "Waterloo to Anywhere," Dirty Pretty Things