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Her delivery evokes a woman possessed as she roars and vamps through her seduction. Davis keeps switching gears until a new darkness emerges from her throat, and a storm rises from the guitar. Her pointillist funk thrust loses its precision and starts stumbling in the perilous ascent towards climax. Elements of the song have been repeatedly sampled and replayed, but its bittersweet harmonies are best experienced the way DJs played it back in the spring of and for many years to come: from its first effusive note to its very end.

The track has been re-recorded a number of times, most famously by the Clash on their debut album. However, the original, recorded in the legendary Black Ark studio, is a textbook Lee Perry production. Instead, he and cowriter Alain Winsniak introduced an unprecedented strain of dystopian disco dread. As the track grows more sinister, mutant monsters take their revenge until humanity reverts to a primitive state where it must once again earn its place.

The future new wave icon Lene Lovich wrote these uncredited ecological lyrics. Together, on opposite sides of the country—Kashif in New York, Sylvers in Los Angeles—the two charted a path post-disco, incorporating new electronic elements and playing with grooves.

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When Thelma Houston recorded the song for Motown a year later, her arrangement reached for the sky; the version accelerates steadily, a gentle melancholy lifting off into the denser and more pressurized atmosphere of disco. Throughout, Rhodes piano shimmers like light filtering through clouds.

In his simultaneous solo career, he stayed one step ahead of the trends he solidified with other artists, veering between soft-rock rebellion, prog fantasias, and experiments in song suites and remakes. Recorded at the ad-hoc Secret Sound studio Rundgren built in a New York City loft, the song balances between his audiophile obsessions and pop instincts.

Can I interfere in your crisis? When it appears on a classic rock radio playlist, the lyric becomes abruptly instructional. Skip to content Search query All Results. Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Open share drawer. Island Elektra RCA Victor Nessa Philips Upsetter Atlantic ZE Continental Just Sunshine Like most " military brats ", Kristofferson moved around frequently as a youth, finally settling down in San Mateo, California , where he graduated from San Mateo High School in An aspiring writer, Kristofferson enrolled in Pomona College that same year.

These early stories reveal the roots of Kris' passions and concerns. The Rock is about a geographical feature that resembled the form of a woman. He experienced his first dose of fame when he appeared in Sports Illustrated ' s " Faces in the Crowd " for his achievements in collegiate Rugby Union , American Football , and Track and Field. He and his classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in , which has remained a southern California rugby institution. Kristofferson graduated in with a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude , in literature.

He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. In a interview with Pomona College Magazine , Kristofferson mentioned philosophy professor Frederick Sontag as an important influence in his life. At Oxford, he was also acquainted with fellow Rhodes scholar, art critic, and poet Michael Fried. Parnes was working to sell Kristofferson as "a Yank at Oxford" to the British public; Kristofferson was willing to accept that promotional approach if it helped his singing career, which he hoped would enable him to progress towards his goal of becoming a novelist.

In , Kristofferson graduated with a B.

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Kristofferson, under pressure from his family, ultimately joined the U. Army, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and attained the rank of captain. He became a helicopter pilot after receiving flight training at Fort Rucker , Alabama. He also completed Ranger School. During the early s, he was stationed in West Germany as a member of the 8th Infantry Division. In , when his tour of duty ended, Kristofferson was given an assignment to teach English literature at West Point.

His family disowned him because of his career decision, and sources are unclear on whether or not they reconciled. After leaving the army in , Kristofferson moved to Nashville. He worked at a variety of odd jobs while struggling for success in music, burdened with medical expenses resulting from his son's defective esophagus. He and his wife soon divorced. He got a job sweeping floors at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville. He met June Carter there and asked her to give Johnny Cash a tape of his. She did, but Johnny put it in a large pile with others. Kristofferson recalled of his days as a pilot, "That was about the last three years before I started performing, before people started cutting my songs.

I would work a week down here [in south Louisiana] for PHI, sitting on an oil platform and flying helicopters. Then I'd go back to Nashville at the end of the week and spend a week up there trying to pitch the songs, then come back down and write songs for another week.

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I wrote " Bobby McGee " down here, and a lot of them [in south Louisiana]. Weeks after giving June his tapes, Kristofferson landed a helicopter in Cash's front yard, gaining his full attention. He achieved some success as a performer himself, following Johnny Cash's introduction of him at the Newport Folk Festival. Kristofferson signed to Monument Records as a recording artist. In addition to running that label, Fred Foster also served as manager of Combine Music , Kristofferson's songwriting label.


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His debut album for Monument in was Kristofferson , which included a few new songs, as well as many of his previous hits. Kristofferson's compositions were still in high demand. This is the only time an individual received the same award from these two organizations in the same year for different songs. In , Janis Joplin , who dated Kristofferson for some time until her death, had a number one hit with "Me and Bobby McGee" from her posthumous album Pearl.

When released, it stayed on the number-one spot on the charts for weeks. It was a success and established Kristofferson's career as a recording artist in his own right. In , he acted in Cisco Pike and released his third album, Border Lord. The album was all-new material and sales were sluggish.

For the next several years, Kristofferson focused on acting. At the peak of his box-office power, Kristofferson turned down William Friedkin 's Sorcerer and the romantic war film Hanover Street. Despite his success with Streisand, Kristofferson's solo musical career headed downward with his non-charting ninth album, Shake Hands with the Devil.

Kristofferson was next cast in the lead role as the enigmatic Sheriff James Averill in Michael Cimino 's bleak and sprawling anti-Western Heaven's Gate. Despite being a scandalous studio-bankrupting and industry-changing failure at the time it cost Kristofferson his Hollywood A-lister status , the film gained critical recognition in subsequent years.

In , he was the male lead in the film Millennium with Cheryl Ladd. In , he co-starred with Mel Gibson in Payback. He was then in the Tim Burton version of Planet of the Apes. He has also played the title character "Yohan" as an old man in the Norwegian film Yohan-the Children Wanderer. He co-starred in the film Dolphin Tale and its sequel, Dolphin Tale 2. After his singing success in the early s, Kristofferson met singer Rita Coolidge. They married in and released an album titled Full Moon , another success buoyed by numerous hit singles and Grammy nominations. However, his fifth album, Spooky Lady's Sideshow , released in , was a commercial failure, setting the trend for most of the rest of his musical career.

Artists such as Ronnie Milsap and Johnny Duncan continued to record Kristofferson's material with much success, but his distinctively rough voice and anti-pop sound kept his own audience to a minimum. Meanwhile, more artists took his songs to the top of the charts, including Willie Nelson , whose LP release of Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson reached 5 on the U.

Country Music chart and certified Platinum in the U. In , Kristofferson participated with Willie Nelson , Dolly Parton , and Brenda Lee on The Winning Hand , a double album consisting of remastered and updated performances of recordings the four artists had made for the Monument label during the mids; the album reached the top-ten on the U.

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Music from Songwriter an album of duets between Nelson and Kristofferson was a massive country success. Their first album, Highwayman , was a huge success, and the supergroup continued working together for a time. The single from the album, also entitled " Highwayman ", and especially written for them by tunesmith Jimmy Webb , was awarded the ACM's single of the year in Kristofferson also appeared in Amerika at about the same time, a miniseries that attempted to depict life in America under Soviet control.

In spite of the success of Highwayman 2 in , Kristofferson's solo recording career slipped significantly in the early s, though he continued to record successfully with the Highwaymen. Rosanne Cash , Cash's daughter, presented the honor during the April 16 awards show in Nashville. Previous recipients include Cash, Hank Williams, Jr.

Country music culture : from hard times to Heaven

Each performer played 5 songs. Taping was done in Nashville. Kristofferson released a new album of original songs entitled Closer to the Bone on September 29, It is produced by Don Was on the New West label. Prior to the release, Kristofferson remarked: "I like the intimacy of the new album. It has a general mood of reflecting on where we all are at this time of life. In December , it was announced that Kristofferson would be portraying Joe in the upcoming album Ghost Brothers of Darkland County , a collaboration between rock singer John Mellencamp and novelist Stephen King.

On May 11, , Light in the Attic Records released demos that were recorded during Kristofferson's janitorial stint at Columbia. Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos is the first time these recordings have been released and includes material that would later be featured on other Kristofferson recordings and on the recordings of other prominent artists, such as the original recording of "Me and Bobby McGee". On June 4, , Kristofferson performed a solo acoustic show at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, showcasing both some of his original hits made famous by other artists, and newer songs.

In early , Kristofferson released a new album of original songs called Feeling Mortal.

Kristofferson married Lisa Meyers in Kristofferson has encountered a few serious medical issues in the past few decades. He had successful bypass surgery in , but from to suffered from what was finally diagnosed as Lyme disease , although it was initially and incorrectly thought to be early onset Alzheimer's disease. It is unclear how Kristofferson contracted Lyme disease but it is suspected that he caught it while filming a movie in the remote woods of Vermont in His wife credits the successful diagnosis and recovery to getting second opinions when dealing with auto-immune and Alzheimer-type diagnoses.

Kristofferson is currently being treated by a specialist in California "who added antibiotic intramuscular injections to Kris's protocol and is continuing to treat Kris", his wife reported.