August Beats presented by @thursplay

thursplay

Our friends at @thursplay have compiled this playlist for August.

First up on this August Beats edition by @thursplay is the single “Now is the start” by A Fine Frenzy from her upcoming 3rd album “Pines” to be released in early October. Find also indie rock band Grizzly Bear with their second released tune “Yet Again” from their upcoming album of same name, to be released in September.

What about Muse’s new album “Madness”? Sure you get a preview of that on this playlist as well! Listen to their new song “Madness”: looking forward to listen to their whole new album?

Still on this playlist: English alternative rock band Band of Skulls with their great new song “Lies” followed by indie/electronic/folktronica band Canon Blue with “Indian Summer (Des Moines)” and by New York City-based rock band Hooray for Earth, who also has a new album out. Listen to their single “True Loves”.

What else? From his latest album “Blunderbuss”, listen to Jack White´s catchy “Missing pieces” song, Imagine Dragons with “My Fault”, Atlas Geniues with “Trojans” from new album “Through the glass”, Angus Stone with “The Wolf & The Bluter”, Seventeen Evergreen with “Polarity Song”, Bat for Lashes with “Laura” from album of same name and more.

What have you listened to the most during this month of August? Let us know by sharing your favorite beats with us on Twitter using the hashtag #thursplay.

Enjoy the playlist!

Cover Me!

Some songs are so closely associated with certain musicians that it’s hard to believe they weren’t the first to perform them.

“Respect”
Best-Known Version: Aretha Franklin
Original artist: It’s an Otis Redding song. When it came out on his 1965 album Otis Blue, it wasn’t a hit or even a single. Franklin covered it two years later. When he heard her version, Redding reportedly said, “That little girl stole my song.” He was right—it became a #1 hit and Franklin’s signature song.

“Got My Mind Set on You”
Best-Known Version: George Harrison
original artist: Harrison’s 1987 comeback hit was a cover of an obscure 1960s soul song recorded by James Ray and written by Rudy Clark (who also wrote “Good Lovin’” and “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”). Harrison had wanted to do the song ever since he was with the Beatles—he thought it was well written, but badly performed on Ray’s recording. (He especially disliked the “horrible screechy women’s voices singing those backup parts.”)

“Killing Me Softly With His Song”
Best-Known Version: Roberta Flack
original artist: In 1971 Los Angeles-based singer Lori Lieberman saw Don McLean perform “American Pie” and was so moved by his concert that she wrote a poem called “Killing Me Softly with His Blues.” Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel later wrote music for it, changing “blues” to “song,” and Lieberman recorded it—but it went nowhere. Flack read an article about Lieberman on an in-flight magazine, thought the title of the song was great, and later, upon hearing it, decided to record it herself.

“Tainted Love”
Best-Known Version: Soft Cell
original artist: It’s arguably the definitive 1980s synth-pop song, but Ed Cobb of the Four Preps wrote it in 1964 as a ballad for a little-known soul singer named Gloria Jones.

“Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”
Best-Known Version: Three Dog Night
original artist: Randy Newman wrote it, and Eric Burden and the Animals first recorded it in 1967. Newman later included the song on his 1970 album, 12 Songs, which didn’t receive much attention at the time. But later that year, the song became a #1 hit for Three Dog Night, who transformed Newman’s slow, funk-influenced tune into a revved-up rock song.

“Greatest Love of All”
Best-Known Version: Whitney Houston
original artist: Though it’s one of Houston’s best-known songs (and widely regarded as one of the sappiest ever written), it was first sung by George Benson for the 1977 Muhammad Ali movie The Greatest. So is the song about Ali? No—lyricist Linda Creed actually wrote it about battling breast cancer, which would later claim her life at age 37.

“Don’t Know Much”
Best-Known Version: Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
original artist: The song was cowritten and performed in 1980 by Barry Mann, who wrote dozens of hit songs in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, and is best known for his 1961 hit recording of “Who Put the Bomp?” Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and Bette Midler both recorded “Don’t Know Much,” but it wasn’t a hit until the Ronstadt/Neville duet was released in 1989.

“That’s What Friends are For”
Best-Known Version: Dionne Warwick and Friends
original artist: Rod Stewart. He sang the song (written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager) for the end credits of the 1982 comedy film Night Shift. That version went largely unnoticed, but it became a smash hit when Warwick performed it with Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder in 1986 to raise money for AIDS research.

Originally published in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges into Music”. Translated from original text in English. Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader books are currently printed in English only.

The new Killers album is coming – and we’ve got an exclusive trailer!

Starting right now Spotify has an exclusive 24 hour premiere of the final segment of the video trailer for the upcoming Killers album, Battle Born.

Artfully capturing each band member’s journey to the studio, this video, titled “Brandon, The Battle Born,” is the finale of a four-part trailer series that gives fans a taste of a new album full of music heavily influenced by the band’s Nevada roots.

Watch here to follow Brandon Flowers and the rest of the band across the red plains of the desert and shimmering lights of Las Vegas to the studio for a moving performance of their new single, “Runaways”.

Want more? Only a few more weeks until Battle Born is out on September 17th! In the meantime, check out “Runaways” here or jam out to The Killers’ complete discography in the Complete Collection App on Spotify.

Can you solve Spotify’s Tech Puzzles?

If you like a puzzle, here’s a mighty challenge for you! Are you techy enough to solve Spotify’s Tech Puzzles?
We use these puzzles to screen candidates who want to be part of Spotify’s development team. They’re a great way to find really talented people to come and work for us and help Spotify to be the best music service.

Click the tests below and see if you can solve some of the Tech Puzzles that previous candidates have tried out. They’re pretty challenging – but fun too!

Download the puzzles here and here as a PDF or click on the shelves below to browse the Puzzles.

If you want to find out more about working at Spotify, check out our jobs page.

Good luck!

Help us create the Nation’s Favourite Training Playlist with spogo

Make the year 2012 the year that counts by helping us build the nation’s favourite training playlist.

Our friends at spogo.co.uk, a great place to find sport and fitness activities near you, are building the nation’s favourite training playlist with us.

Help us reach 2,012 tracks by 31 December – simply add the URL of your favourite workout tune to our playlist and get the nation moving!

Register now on spogo.co.uk to be entered into their free monthly prize draw to win 3 months of Spotify Premium – The first winner will be chosen at the end of September.

Click here and register.

Bastille’s ‘Bad Blood EP’ is out now.

It contains Bad Blood, new song Haunt and remixes by Melé, F*U*G*Z (featuring Dan from the band, Kenzie May and rapper F. Stokes) as well as recent TNGHT accomplice Lunice.

If you check out the video to the track you’ll see mysterious seaside happenings. To tie in with this, Dan from the band has put together a Spotify playlist called ‘Lost To The Sea’ featuring some of his favourite tracks at the moment, including Frank Ocean, TNGHT and the single Bad Blood.

Listen to the playlist here:

Check out Dan’s profile here to see what else he’s been listening to.

This week’s Music News

It is once again time for the fantastic new releases of the week and we’ve got some utter gems to share with you!

Alanis Morrisette the once vengeful singer/ songwriter is back with her new album ‘Havoc And Bright Lights’. Though its not filled with the vengeful songs that we now know as her signature sound it features some great new tracks that are sure to become favourites!

‘A Thing Called The Divine Fits’ is the debut album from Divine Fits.

Pop/ Soul songstress Jessie ware’s long awaited debut album ‘Devotion’ is out and available to listen to right here on Spotify. Featuring her stunning vocal and incredible production it has all the makings of a future classic.

For those of you after smooth tunes, you’ll be pleased to know that the R&B crooner Trey Songz’s album ‘Chapter V’ is right here on Spotify. As usual there’s no shortage of tracks to set the mood for romantic evenings so if you’re planning an evening with your special someone look no further for the soundtrack to the night.

We’ve put all these albums in a playlist so you can enjoy the newest and
hottest tracks by simply clicking the button below.

We’ve also got an great new playlist from Family Of The Year who are also offering you the chance to win tickets to their gig at Hoxton Bar on September 6th. All you’ve got to do to be in with a chance of winning is subscribe to the playlist and enjoy the music! Good luck!

Our Interview with Nathan from Gossip

London blew my mind at first – there were so many radical freaks here…”, Nathan Howdeshell from Gossip

Nathan Howdeshell, founder member and guitarist with Gossip since 1999, dropped by the Spotify office this week to DJ in the Soundrop room. Sat surrounded by notes scribbled with ideas for tracks, bottles of cold beer and water and a softly-humming laptop, Nathan plays a Jacques Renault remix of New York’s Midnight Magic, some Danish no-wave from Iceage, the spaced-out dub of Wisconsin’s Peaking Lights too and the Anglo-German singer-songwriter, Anika.

“There’s so much cool stuff on Spotify,” he laughs. “I do a little record label of my own and I’m finding things on here that even I’ve forgotten about…”

The Gossip formed in rural Arkansas, how did underground music reach you there?
Mostly from pen pals writing to each other. That’s how Beth and I found out about Riot Grrrl and that’s what really got us started. There were a lot of mixtapes going around and I set up a show for Calvin Johnstone’s band when I was still in high school.

Was alcohol really banned in your home town, Searcy?
Yeah – it was a shitty-ass town! You’d have to drive 30 or 40 minutes just to buy a bunch of wine. As you can imagine, London blew my mind when I first came here – there were so many radical freaks. Nowadays most of my friends are scattered throughout the world, but the British were the first people to accept The Gossip, so it does always feel a bit special here, especially for Beth. We felt like those free jazz cats going to Paris in the 60s. England always had their hands out, ready to accept us.

You clearly enjoy DJing…
Oh I really do. I play a lot of records at parties – but I’m a selector. I play at a honkytonk dive bar near me and it’s all old country records. Doc Boggs, Skip James, Johnny Cash – I want people to dance and have fun. My dad’s a hillbilly who only listens to country music and I find myself loving it more and more. At home on the farm I fix fences and take care of cattle and country is the soundtrack to my life.

What five records made you the person you are?
The No New York compilation of late 70s downtown NYC bands is way beyond punk, it’s so cool. Suicide’s first album is amazing – they called themselves punk in 1972, before anyone had ever used the phrase to describe a sound. The first Stooges album is an incredible record as is Charles Mingus’ Black Saint and the Sinner Lady. And, of course, the first Ronettes LP.

Does anything link all of them?
Minimalism. I like primitive sounding music and they’re all very primitive! I like the spirit of rebellion that you can hear in them.

What’s the greatest record ever made?
Well, everything came from blues, so it must be a blues record. That’s a hard question. That first Suicide album I mentioned already is one of my favourite records ever, it still sounds futuristic, that’s pretty amazing. But then, Jackie Brenston’s song Rocket ’88′ was probably the first rock and roll record back in 1951, so that’s kind of important too!

10 Odd Things You May Not Know About Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa, who died in 1993 aged 52, once said his job was to, “extrapolate everything to the extreme” and his vast catalogue of music proves this over and over again. The ultimate rock and roll iconoclast, Zappa’s first band, The Mothers of Invention, were regulars on LA’s Sunset Strip during the rise of psychedelia – in fact it was Frank himself who popularised the phrase, “Freak Out” by calling his first LP that. His music mixed up pop and soul, jazz and acid rock, swaggering near-metal and austere modern classical ideas. He could play a melody by Stravinsky just as convincingly as a Motown chorus as he had a desire to mix the complexity and dexterity of symphonic music with the noise and excitement and accessibility of great pop music. Is Frank Zappa for you? Why not dive in and find out…

10 Odd Things You May Not Know About Frank Zappa

1. In 1968 he appeared on The Monkees TV show dressed as guitarist Mike Nesmith. Later he was shown “playing” a car by repeatedly beating it.

2. There are 115 Zappa songs “with sexual topics” listed on his Wiki Jawaka page.

3. Zappa has had newly discovered fish, jellyfish and a fossilised snail named in his honour.

4. As a child Zappa suffered from sinusitis, which a doctor tried to remedy by inserting radium capsules into his nostrils.

5. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening once declared Zappa to be, “my Elvis”.

6. Every year the German town on Bad Doberan hosts the Zappanale where only Frank’s music is performed.

7. Zappa’s son Dweezil was named after his wife’s strangely shaped little toe.

8. Stevie Wonder thanks Frank Zappa in the sleevenotes to his legendary 1976 album, Songs In The Key Of Life – no one is quite sure why.

9. In 1992 he appeared as the voice of the Pope in an episode of Ren & Stimpy.

10. Zappa’s 1971 film 200 Motels was filmed in the same studio as A Space Odyssey, look closely and you may spot the black monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic.

Enjoy Zappa’s music on Spotify.