Posted in music

George Michael

English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record produce George Michael, was born 25 June 1963. Michael rose to superstardom during the 1980s and 1990s as a member of Wham! And on his own, with his style of post-disco dance-pop proving immensely successful. He has also been characterised as a blue-eyed soul singer, although his material draws more from middle-of-the-road pop than soul music. Michael first found success after forming the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. The band’s first album Fantastic reached No. 1 in the UK in 1983 and included the songs Young Guns”, “Wham Rap!” and “Club Tropicana”. Their second album, Make It Big included the songs Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (No. 1 in the UK and US), “Freedom”, “Everything She Wants”, and “Careless Whisper”. Michael sang on the original Band Aid recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and donated the profits from “Last Christmas/Everything She Wants” to charity. He also contributed to David Cassidy’s 1985 hit “The Last Kiss”, and Elton John’s 1985 songs “Nikita” and “Wrap Her Up”. Wham!’ Also made a historic tour of China in April 1985, which had never been done before by a Western Pop Group and was documented by film director Lindsay Anderson and producer Martin Lewis in their film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China. Michael then released two solo singles, “Careless Whisper” (1984) and “A Different Corner” (1986), And Wham! Officially separated during the summer of 1986, after releasing a farewell single, “The Edge of Heaven” and a singles compilation, The Final, plus a sell-out concert at Wembley Stadium.

He began his solo career, in 1987, was a highly successful duet with Aretha Franklin. “I Knew You Were Waiting”, for which Michael and Aretha Franklin won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best R&B Performance – Duo or Group with Vocal for the song. Michael released his first solo album, Faith in 1987 which contained the controversial song “I Want Your Sex”,which was banned by many radio stations and The second single, “Faith”, was released in 1987 shortly before the album “Faith” and was accompanied by an iconic video. This was followed by the songs “Father Figure”, “One More Try”, and “Monkey”.In 1988, Michael embarked on a world tour, which included “Everything She Wants” and “I’m Your Man”, as well as covers of “Lady Marmalade” or “Play That Funky Music”. In Los Angeles, Michael was joined on stage by Aretha Franklin for “I Knew You Were Waiting”. In 1989, Faith won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 31st Grammy Awards and also received the Video Vanguard Award At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. In 1990 Michael released the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, which was more serious in tone and contained the songs “Praying for Time”, which dealt with social ills and injustice, and the acoustic “Waiting for That Day”, this was followed by Freedom! ’90”, “Heal the Pain”, and “Cowboys and Angels”.The video for ‘Freedom ’90” was directed by David Fincher and featured the supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz, and Cindy Crawford. The song “Mother’s Pride” also gained significant radio play in the US during the first Persian Gulf War during 1991. Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 also won the award for Best British Album at the 1991 Brit Awards.

In 1991 Michael embarked on the “Cover to Cover tour” in Japan, England, the US, and Brazil, where he performed at Rock in Rio, singing his favourite cover songs, including Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, a 1974 song by Elton John which he and Michael had performed together at the Live Aid concert in 1985, and again at London’s Wembley Arena in 1991. Due to legal problems with Sony Michael ended the idea for a follow up album called Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2 and donated three songs to the charity project Red Hot + Dance, for the Red Hot Organization which raised money for AIDS awareness, including “Crazyman Dance” and Too Funky”, whose video features Michael (sporadically) filming supermodels Linda Evangelista, Beverly Peele, Tyra Banks, Estelle Lefébure and Nadja Auermann at a fashion show. Next George Michael teamed up with Queen for the EP Five Live. Which they performed at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on 20 April 1992 at London’s Wembley Stadium, with proceeds going to AIDS research. Tracks for the event were performed by George Michael, Queen, and Lisa Stansfield and included “Somebody to Love”, “These Are the Days of Our Lives”,”Killer”, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, “Calling You “’39″and “Somebody to Love”. Michael’s performance of “Somebody to Love” was hailed as “one of the best performances of the tribute concert”.The idea of having George Michael take over as full-time lead singer of Queen was even given serious consideration. In 1994, George Michael appeared at the first MTV Europe Music Awards show, performing his new song, “Jesus to a Child” this was followed by “Fastlove”, an energetic tune about wanting gratification and fulfilment without commitment, followed by the album’s title track Older, and “Star People ’97”.

In 1996, Michael was voted Best British Male, at the MTV Europe Music Awards and the Brit Awards and at the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Awards, he was awarded the prestigious title of ‘Songwriter of The Year’ for the third time. In 1998 George Michael released Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael a Double CD containing 28 songs (29 songs are included on the European and Australian release). The first CD, titled “For the Heart”, predominantly contains Michael’s successful ballads, while the second CD, “For the Feet”, consists mainly of his popular dance tunes. It also contains a large number of compilation tracks and duets that had not previously appeared on his albums, including his duet with Aretha Franklin, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”; “Desafinado”, a duet in Portuguese with Brazilian legendary singer Astrud Gilberto; and the Elton John duet “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on me”. George Michael’s next album was “Outiside”, the titular track was a humorous song about his arrest for soliciting a policeman in a public restroom. He also sang a duet with Mary J.Blige called “As”. In 1999: George Michael released the album Songs from the Last Century, which contained mainly cover-versions including “Roxanne”, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”; and the Frank Sinatra classic “Where or When”. In 2000, Michael sang on “If I Told You That” with Whitney Houston. Michael’s next single was “Freeek!”, this was followed by the controversial single “Shoot the Dog” which was highly critical of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in protest against the 2003 Iraq War, this was followed by a cover version of Don McLean’s The Grave. Which was released as part of the War Child charity album Hope. Michael’s fifth hit album, Patience, was released in 2004 and included the songs “Amazing” and “Flawless” which sampled The Ones’ original dance hit “Flawless”, this was followed by “Round Here” and “John and Elvis Are Dead”.

PART TWO

In 2006 George Michael released his second greatest hits album TWENTY FIVE celebrating the 25th anniversary of his music career. Containing George’s solo songs and Wham! Songs Plus three new songs: “An Easier Affair”; “This Is Not Real Love” (a duet with Mutya Buena, formerly of Sugababes, and a new version of “Heal the Pain” recorded with Paul McCartney and “Understand”. The limited edition three-CD version also contains an additional 14 lesser known tracks, including one from Wham! It was also released in North America as a 29-song, two-CD set featuring several new songs (including duets with Paul McCartney and Mary J. Blige and a song from the short-lived TV series Eli Stone) where George Michael portrayed a guardian Angel protecting Johnny Lee Miller’s character. He also toured North America for the first time in 17 years and played the 2005 Live 8 concert at Hyde Park, London, Where he was joined by Paul McCartney on stage, harmonising on The Beatles classic “Drive my Car”.The DVD version of Twenty Five contains 40 videos on two discs.In 2008, he toured North America playing 21 dates in the United States and Canada his first tour there in 17 years.

Michael appeared on the 2008 finale show of American Idol singing “Praying for Time”. Michael performed in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as part of the 37th National Day Celebrations and released the song “December Song” on his website for free. In 2010, Michael performed his first show in Perth, Australia since 1988 and was a guest performer at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party. In 2011, Michael covered New Order’s 1987 hit “True Faith” in aid of the charity Comic Relief and released a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 song, “You and I” on 15 April 2011, as an MP3 gift to Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their wedding on 29 April 2011. In 2011, George’s European Symphonica Tour was announced. He was also nominated for the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Sadly though he became severely ill with Pneumonia. However two months after leaving hospital, Michael made a surprise appearance at the 2012 Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena, where he received a standing ovation, and presented Adele the award for Best British Album. In 2012, George Michael released a single “White Light” to celebrate 30 years since the release of Wham Rap. Plus “Song to the Siren”, and two remixes and released and his latest album Symphonica was released in 2014.

In2006 George Michael released his second greatest hits album TWENTY FIVE celebrating the 25th anniversary of his music career. Containing George’s solo songs and Wham! Songs Plus three new songs: “An Easier Affair”; “This Is Not Real Love” (a duet with Mutya Buena, formerly of Sugababes, and a new version of “Heal the Pain” recorded with Paul McCartney and “Understand”. The limited edition three-CD version also contains an additional 14 lesser known tracks, including one from Wham! It was released in North America as a 29-song, two-CD set featuring several new songs (including duets with Paul McCartney and Mary J. Blige and a song from the short-lived TV series Eli Stone) where George Michael portrayed a guardian Angel protecting Johnny Lee Miller’s character. He also toured North America for the first time in 17 years and also played the 2005 Live 8 concert at Hyde Park, London, And was joined by Paul McCartney on stage, harmonising on The Beatles classic “Drive my Car”.The DVD version of Twenty Five contains 40 videos on two discs.In 2008, he toured North America playing 21 dates in the United States and Canada. This was Michael’s first tour of North America in 17 years. Michael appeared on the 2008 finale show of American Idol singing “Praying for Time”.

Michael performed in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as part of the 37th National Day Celebrations and released the song “December Song” on his website for free. In 2010, Michael performed his first show in Perth, Australia since 1988 and was a guest performer at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party. In 2011, Michael covered New Order’s 1987 hit “True Faith” in aid of the charity Comic Relief and released a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 song, “You and I” on 15 April 2011, as an MP3 gift to Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their wedding on 29 April 2011. In 2011, George’s European Symphonica Tour was announced. He was also nominated for the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Sadly though he became severely ill with Pneumonia. However two months after leaving hospital, Michael made a surprise appearance at the 2012 Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena, where he received a standing ovation, and presented Adele the award for Best British Album. In 2012, George Michael released a single “White Light” to celebrate 30 years since the release of Wham Rap. Plus “Song to the Siren”, and two remixes and released and his latest album Symphonica was released in 2014.

Posted in books, films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

George Orwell

English novelist and journalist George Orwell, (Eric Arthur Blair) was Born on 25 June 1903, in Motihari, Bihar, in India, His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism. Although Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian — descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices — has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, Big Brother and thought police.

NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR

Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949. It is a dystopian and satirical novel set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology.The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good.The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Moreover, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005 the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor’s list, and 6 on the reader’s list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

ANIMAL FARM

Animal Farm is an allegorical novella which was published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel “contre Stalin” and in his essay of 1946, Why I Write, he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”.The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but the subtitle was dropped by U.S. publishers for its 1946 publication and subsequently all but one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime omitted the addition. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire. Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which recalled the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, and which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin for “bear”, a symbol of Russia.

It was written at a time (November 1943-February 1944) when the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union was at its height and Stalin was held in highest esteem in Britain both among the people and intelligentsia, a fact that Orwell hated. It was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz. Its publication was thus delayed, though it became a great commercial success when it did finally appear—in part because the Cold War so quickly followed WW2. Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also places at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World. The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia corrupt the revolution. It portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution, rather than the act of revolution itself. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people’s government is not achieved. Orwell sadly passed away on 21 January 1950 although his novels have remained popular and have also been adapted numerous times for film, television and Radio.

Posted in Uncategorized

Patrick Moraz & Clint Warwick (Yes & Moody Blues)

Moody Blues-On the Threshold of a Dream
Moody Blues-On the Threshold of a Dream

Musicians Patrick Moraz and Clint Warwick were born 24 July 1948 and 25 June1940 respectively they were both members of the Moody Blues and Moraz was also a member of progressive Rock band Yes, who achieved worldwide succes with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Stee Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes -Fly From Here
Yes -Fly From Here

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and T0ny Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman wasthen replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra.In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. The band’s current line-up consists of singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes, and they continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation.

The Moody Blues formed on 4 May 1964, in Erdington, Birmingham, England containing Ray Thomas, John Lodge, Graeme Edge and Michael Pinder The name was a a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song, “Mood Indigo. They released a single, “Steal Your Heart Away” in 1964 and appeared on the cult UK series “Ready Steady Go!” singing the uptempo “Lose Your Money (But Don’t Lose your Mind)”. But it was their second single, “Go Now” which launched their career & became a hit in the United Kingdom. Their debut album The Magnificent Moodies contained the hit singles “Go Now” and “Bye Bye Bird” together with one side of classic R&B covers. including a cover of “I Don’t Want To Go On Without You”,”From The Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)”, “Everyday”,”This is My House (But Nobody Calls)” and and “Boulevard de la Madeleine”.The group released the singles “Fly Me High” and “Really Haven’t Got the Time” in 1967 followed by “Love And Beauty” & “Leave This Man Alone”.

The Moody Blues were then offered a deal to make a rock and roll version of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony, and although executives were initially skeptical about the hybrid style of the resulting concept album. Days of Future Past became one of the most successful pop/rock releases of the period, earning a gold record award. It takes place over the course of a single day & drew inspiration from the pioneering use of the classical instrumentation by The Beatles. It includes the songs “Nights in White Satin” & “The Sun Set” “Another Morning”, “Twilight Time”,”Peak Hour” and “Evening (Time To Get Away)”. The 1968 follow-up LP, In Search of the Lost Chord included the songs “Legend of a Mind”,”House of Four Doors”,”Voices in the Sky”, “Ride My See-Saw” and “The Best Way To Travel”.The 1969 album On the Threshold of a Dream contained the songs “In The Beginning”,”Lovely To See You”,”Never Comes The Day”,”Dear Diary” and “Lazy Day”,”So Deep Within You”,”The Dream”&”Have You Heard”. The band’s music continued to become more complex and symphonic,resulting in 1969′s To Our Children’s Children’s Children which was inspired by the first moon landing.and contained the songs “Higher And Higher” “Floating” and “Eternity Road” “Gypsy”,”Out And In” the two part “Eyes of A Child” and “Candle of Life””Sun is Still Shining”. and “Watching and Waiting”.

The Moodies had a somewhat psychedelic style and progressive rock sound, the group next album was A Question of Balance (1970) & contained the songs “Question” and “Melancholy Man”. For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) and “Seventh Sojourn”the band returned to their signature orchestral sound.These contained the songs “Procession”, “Story in Your Eyes” “Our Guessing Game”,”You Can Never Go Home”, “One More Time To Live”, “My Song” and “Nice To Be Here”. The Album “After You Came” (1971) featured “Isn’t Life Strange ?” “I’m Just A Singer (in A Rock ‘n’ Roll Band)”,”Sojourn”,”Lost in A Lost World” “When You’re A Free Man”, “For My Lady”, and “New Horizons”. In late 1972, a re-issue of the five-year-old Nights in White Satin became the Moody Blues’ biggest US hit.

The Moodies were also among the pioneers of the idea that a successful rock band could promote itself through their own label, so following the Beatles’ creation of Apple Records, they created Threshold Records. However it proved unsuccessful although They did lay the groundwork for other major acts to set up similar personal labels and distribution deals including The Rolling Stones’ own label and Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Record label.In the spring of 1974, after completing a vast world tour that culminated with a tour of Asia, the group took an extended break and released a compilation album This Is The Moody Blues. Justin Hayward and John Lodge then released the album, Blue Jays, and a single, “Blue Guitar”. Mike Pinder released a album The Promise.” Edge produced two albums with guitarist Adrian Gurvitz, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom; Hayward composed the albums Songwriter, followed by Night Flight, Moving Mountains, Classic Blue, The View From The Hill and Live In San Juan Capistrano; Lodge released Natural Avenue; Pinder produced The Promise; and Thomas produced From Mighty Oaks and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams.

In 1977, the group reunited and despite many problems The album Octave was released in 1978 contining “Steppin’ in a Slide Zone” & “Driftwood”. Around this time Justin Hayward enjoyed a solo hit with the song “Forever Autumn” from Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. The next album ,Long Distance Voyager,was released in 1981 and yielded two hits, “The Voice” &”Gemini Dream”. and the band embraced a more modern, less symphonic approach, while still retaining a lush keyboard-led sound. The next album The Present yeilded the singles “Blue World” and”Sitting at the Wheel”. In 1986 they released the album The Other Side of Life, containing “Your Wildest Dreams”which garnered a Billboard Video of the Year award,as well as the songs “House of Four Doors”, “Candle of Life” and “One More Time To Live” “Here Comes The Weekend”, “Rock and Roll Over You”, “Love is On The Run (From Me)”, “The Actor”, “Dawning is the Day”, “You Can Never Go Home”& “The Land of Make Believe”.

The Moody Blues also performed live at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986 which raised money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospitals, and also provided backup with the Electric Light Orchestra for George Harrison.The Moodies released Sur La Mer in 1988 containing the single, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”.In 1991 they released the album Keys of the Kingdom contained the songs “Say It With Love”, “Never Blame The Rainbows For The Rain”,”Bless the Wings (That Bring You Back)”,”Magic” “Shadows On the Wall” “Lean On Me (Tonight)”and “Say What You Mean.”They also played at the Montreux Jazz Festival and remained. a steady concert draw, They also made a series of recordings of their Night at Red Rocks concert.The next album Strange Times, was released in 1999 with the songs”English Sunset”,”Nothing Changes” and”This is The Moment”.The Moody Blues also appeared in one episode of “The Simpsons” called “Viva Ned Flanders”.In 2000, the band released “Hall of Fame”, a new live concert from Royal Albert Hall. In 2001, an IMAX film was released, entitled Journey into Amazing Caves. In 2006, the first five of the band’s ‘Core Seven’ albums ( Days of Future Passed to Seventh Sojourn) were re-released featuring bonus songs and previously unreleased tracks.Remastered versions of Octave, Long Distance Voyager and The Present soon followed. The Moodies also released a compilation of sessions recorded at BBC Studios, rarities & various TV appearances, entitled Live at the BBC: 1967-1970. The Moody Blues have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs. As of 2012 they remain active and continue to tour,

Posted in Health, nature, Science-tech

World Vitiligo Day

The United Nations designated June 25 as the World Vitiligo Day, in order to build global awareness about vitiligo, a frequent and often disfiguring skin disease that can have a significantly negative social and/or psychological impact on patients, in part because of numerous misconceptions still present in large parts of the world.

The idea of a World Vitiligo Day was suggested by Steve Haragadon, the founder of the Vitiligo Friends network, and then developed and finalized by Ogo Maduewesi, a Nigerian vitiligo patient who is the founder and Executive Director of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF). In her words, “World Vitiligo Day is a day to create extensive awareness on vitiligo and a day dedicated to all living with vitiligo globally”. The first World Vitiligo Day (also defined as “Vitiligo Awareness Day” or “Vitiligo Purple Fun day”, from the color chosen as Vitiligo Awareness Colour was observed on June 25, 2011. The choice of June 25 as World Vitiligo Day is a memorial to musical artist Michael Jackson, who suffered from vitiligo from 1986 until his death, which occurred on June 25, 2009. The main event of the first World Vitiligo Day occurred at Silverbird Galleria’s Artrum in Lagos, Nigeria, with the participation of several volunteers with different experiences (dermatologists, motivational speakers, dancers, artists, comedians, patients), united by the common will of spreading knowledge and awareness about vitiligo. Simultaneously, other events took place in other parts of the world, organized by local associations.

In 2012, Vitiligo Research Foundation (VRF), a non-profit organization aiming to fund and fast-track medical research, as well as connect investigators, care providers, patients and philanthropists, to accelerate vitiligo research and relieve suffering of patients, joined VITSAF and other organizations to increase the efficacy of their efforts in favor of global vitiligo awareness.

Posted in music

Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac)

Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" high res cover artMick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac was born 24 June 1947. The band were formed in 1966 in London. Founder Peter Green named the group by combining he surnames of two of his former bandmates (Fleetwood, and John McVie) from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Christine Mc vie joined the band in 1970 while married to John McVie, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could join. The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwoo John McVie and Mayall. Soon after, Green cotacted Fleetwood to form a new band. The pair wanted McVie on bass guitar and even named the band ‘Fleetwood Mac’ as a way to entice him. Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood then teamed up with slide player Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning.

The band made its debut on 13 August 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to join the band as permanent bassist.fleetwood Mac’s first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a no-frills blues album and was released on te Blue Horizon label in February 1968. In fact there were no other players on the album (except for the song “Long Grey Mare”, which was recorded with Brunning on bass). The album was successful in the UK, though it did not have any singles on it. The band soon released two singles “Black Magic Woman” (later a big hit for Santana) and “Need Your Love So Bad”.The band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. This was another -blues album, but with a few changes. The album was recorded live in the studio with miked amplifiers and PA system, rather than plugged into the board. This method provided the ideal environment for producing this style of music, and gave it an authentically vintage sound. They also added horns . The Next album was Then Then Play On the American which contained the song “Oh Well”

5324Sadly Peter Green left and In September 1970, Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House. Kirwan’s songs sounded more “rocky”, while, Spencer’s songs resembled the country-tinged “Sun Sound” of the late 1950s. Christine Perfect, contributed to Kiln House, by singing backup vocals, and drawing the album cover, and was asked to join the band. They also released a single at that time; “Dragonfly” b/w “The Purple Dancer” . At this time Christine Perfect was also married to bassist John McVie. an album of previously unreleased material from the original Fleetwood Mac called The Original Fleetwood Mac was also released. Then While on tour in 1971, Jeremy Spencer disappeared And joined a religious group, the Children of God. So the band hired Bob Welch as guitarist. In September 1971, the band released Future Games, which gained them many new fans in America. six months later the band released the album Bare Trees. Though mostly composed by Kirwan, Bare Trees featured Welch’s “Sentimental Lady”. It also featured “Spare Me a Little of Your Love”, a bright Christine McVie tune that became a staple of the band’s live act throughout the early to mid-1970s, sadly Danny Kirwan developed an alcohol dependency and became alienated from Welch and the McVies until Fleetwood eventually sacked Kirwan. The next two and a half years proved to be the most challenging for the band. In the three albums they released in this period, they constantly changed line-ups.

In September 1972, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, and also hired Savoy Brown’s road manager, John Courage. Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded Penguin, which was released in January 1973. After the tour, the band fired Walker The remaining five carried on and recorded Mystery to Me six months later, containing the song “Hypnotized” which became one of the band’s most successful songs to date. However, things were not well within the band. The McVies’ marriage at this time was under a lot of stress, which was aggravated by their constant working with each other, and John McVie’s considerable alcohol abuse. During the tour, Weston had an affair with Fleetwood’s wife, Jenny Boyd Fleetwood, the sister of Pattie Boyd Harrison. Fleetwood soon fired Weston and the tour was cancelled.

Then in one of the most bizarre events in rock history, the band’s manager, Clifford Davis, claimed that he owned the name Fleetwood Mac and put out a “fake Mac” consisting of Elmer Gantry (vocals, guitar), Kirby Gregory (guitar), Paul Martinez (bass), John Wilkinson (keyboards) and Craig Collinge (drums). Gantry and Gregory went on to become members of Stretch, Gantry later joined The Alan Parsons Project and Martinez eventually became a bassist for Robert Plant. Fans were told that Bob Welch and John McVie had quit the group, and that Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie would be joining the band at a later date. So Fleetwood Mac’s road manager, John Courage, hid the real Fleetwood Mac’s equipment, to shorten the tour by the fake band. But a subsequent lawsuit concerning the ownership of the name Fleetwood Mac delayed Fleetwood Mac even more, although the band was obviously named after Fleetwood and McVie they signed contracts forfeiting the rights to the name. The “real” Fleetwood Mac were in fact Fleetwood, Welch and the McVies. While this did not end the legal battle, the band was able to record as Fleetwood Mac again.

Fleetwood Mac, released the album Heroes Are Hard to Find in September 1974 and added a second keyboardist Doug Graves for the subsequent tour. Then Bob Welch left and while looking of a replacement Mick Fleetwood heard the song Frozen Love by Buckingham Nicks and liked it and later met guitarist Lindsay Buckingham at Sound City and asked him to join Fleetwood Mac and he agreed on condition that his musical partner and girlfriend, Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks, also join, Fleetwood agreed. Then In 1975, Fleetwood Mac released the album Fleetwood Mac. Containing the songs “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me”, and Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” . Sadly by this point John and Christine McVie’s marriage, and Buckingham and Nicks’ long term romantic relationship both broke up and Fleetwood was in the midst of divorce proceedings from his wife, Jenny. This combined with the immense pressure to record another successful album led to creative and personal tensions, fuelled by high consumption of drugs and alcohol.In 1977 Fleetwood Mac released the classic album Rumours. Which despite the emotional turmoil the band were going through, won Grammy Award for Album of the Year for 1977. Hit singles included Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way”, Nicks’s U.S. No.1 “Dreams” and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. Buckingham’s “Second Hand News”, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Chain”.

Fleetwood Mac’s next album was the ambitions and experimental 20-track double album, Tusk, which contained “Tusk”,”Think About Me” and Stevie Nicks’ 6½ minute opus “Sara” . The band embarked on an 18-month tour to support and promote Tusk. including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and even shared the bill with reggae superstar Bob Marley. It was on this world tour that the band recorded music for the Fleetwood Mac Live Album(1980). The next album, 1982′s Mirage, following 1981 solo turns by Nicks (Bella Donna) and Buckingham (Law and Order), was more conventional and included The songs “Hold Me”,”Love In Store”,”Gypsy”, and Lindsey Buckingham’s “Oh Diane”, “Eyes Of The World” and “Can’t Go Back”. Following Mirage, Stevie Nicks released two solo albums (1983′s The Wild Heart and 1985′s Rock a Little), Lindsey Buckingham released Go Insane in 1984, and Christine McVie released her solo album featuring the songs “Got A Hold On Me” and “Love Will Show us how”.

Fleetwood+Mac+-+Tango+In+The+Night+(1987)Sadly there were further personal traumas Mick Fleetwood was declared Bankrupt and Nicks was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems, and John McVie had suffered an addiction-related seizure—all attributed to their excessive lifestyles. It was even rumoured that Fleetwood Mac had finally broken up. However Fleetwood Mac recorded one more album for the time being, Tango in the Night, in 1987. Which become their best-selling release since Rumours and contained the songs “Little Lies”, “Everywhere”,”Seven Wonders”, “Big Love”. “Family Man”and “Isn’t It Midnight”. Lindsey Buckingham left and Following his departure, Fleetwood Mac added two new guitarists to the band,Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Burnette had already worked with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and, Fleetwood and Christine McVie played on his Try Me album in 1985. Rick Vito, was a Peter Green admirer, Who had previously played with Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and John McVie. In 1988 Fleetwood Mac released a Greatest Hits album featuring singles from the 1975–88 era, plus two new compositions: “No Questions Asked” and “As Long as You Follow” And was dedicated to Buckingham by the band, with whom they had now reconciled. Following the Greatest Hits collection, Fleetwood Mac recorded the album Behind the Mask, which included the songs “Save Me”. The subsequent “Behind the Mask” tour saw the band play sold out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium, and Los Angeles
Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, both decided that the tour would be their last (McVie’s father died during the tour) and in 1991, both Nicks and Rick Vito left Fleetwood Mac altogether. In 1992, Fleetwood himself arranged a 4-disc box set spanning highlights from the band’s 25 year history, titled 25 Years – The Chain. Plus new songs, “Paper Doll”,”Heart of Stone” and “Love Shines” and “Make Me a Mask”. Mick Fleetwood also released a deluxe hardcover companion book to coincide with the release of the box set, titled My 25 Years in Fleetwood Mac, which featured many rare photographs and notes (written by Fleetwood himself) detailing the band’s 25 year history. The Buckingham/Nicks/McVie/McVie/Fleetwood line-up also reunited at the request of U.S. President Bill Clinton for his first Inaugural Ball in 1993. Clinton had made Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” his campaign theme song. Inspired by the new interest in the band, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie recorded another album as Fleetwood Mac, with Billy Burnette on lead guitar, however he was replaced by singer/guitarist Bekka Bramlett and Traffic’s Dave Mason, who had worked with Bekka’s parentsDelaney & Bonnie twenty five years earlier. By March 1994, Billy Burnette, himself a good friend and co-songwriter with Delaney Bramlett, returned and the band, minus Christine McVie, toured in 1994, performing classic Fleetwood Mac songs from the initial 1967–1974 era On 10 October 1995, Fleetwood Mac released Time. Then Bramlett and Burnette left and formed a country music duo, Bekka & Billy.

In May 1996, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks made an appearance at a private party in Louisville,Kentucky prior to the Kentucky Derby. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham composed the duet, “Twisted” for the film “Twister” with Mick Fleetwood on drums. This eventually led to a full Rumours line-up reunion when the band officially reformed in March 1997. The regrouped Mac performed a live concert which was recorded as a live album, they also released the 20th anniversary of their Rumours album. In 1998, Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed at the Grammy Awards program that year. They were also the recipients of the “Outstanding Contribution to Music” award at the BRIT Awards(British Phonographic Industry Awards)

In 2003 Fleetwood Mac released the album,Say You Will, containing the songs “Peacekeeper” and “Say You Will” which was followed by a WorldTour. In 2009 Fleetwood Mac embarked on a ‘greatest hits’ show entitled Unleashed and Stevie Nicks wrote a song to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac was re-released on an extended two-disc format and a new one-hour documentary, Fleetwood Mac: Don’t Stop, was shown. An episode of Glee entitled “Rumours” also featured six songs from the band’s 1977 album Rumours and sparked renewed interest in the band. Stevie Nicks’ also released a new solo album In Your Dreams. Fleetwood Mac reunited for a 2013 sellout tour without Bob Brunning, Former guitarist and singer Bob Weston or singer and guitarist Bob Welch who are sadly no longer with us, and performed two new songs. (“Sad Angel” and “Without You”), The band released their first new studio material in 10 years, Extended Play, on 30 April 2013. On 27 October, 2013 the band announced that John McVie had been diagnosed with cancer, and cancelled their New Zealand and Australian performances. HoweverSubsequent reports have described John McVie’s prognosis as “really good.” In 2014 Christine McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac and they embarked on a 33 Date North American Tour called on with the Show. In 2015, Buckingham suggested that the new album and the new tour might be Fleetwood Mac’s last act, however Mick Fleetwood was more enthusiastic.

Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

Death to the Daleks

imageI have recently watched the exciting classic Doctor Who episode Death to the Daleks starring Jon Pertwee and Elizabeth Sladen. It starts when the TARDIS loses all power and crash-lands on the planet Exxilon. The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith venture outside to investigate the cause of the interference. The Doctor is captured by the planet’s inhabitants – the savage Exxilons. Sarah is also attacked by an Exxilon and flees into the night, finding a huge white city with a flashing beacon. When daylight arrives, the Doctor is found by a party of the Marine Space Corps; led by Galloway, who take him to their ship, which has been stranded by a power drain. They are on an expedition to mine “Parrinium” – a mineral abundant only on Exxilon – which can cure and give immunity from a deadly space plague which is affecting at least 10 million people. They show the Doctor some photos they have taken of the nearby city – which the Exxilons worship, sacrificing anyone who ventures too close to it. Unfortunately Sarah-Jane does so, and is captured and taken to the Exxilons’ caves to be sacrificed by their High Priest.

Shortly after A Dalek ship also crash lands on Exxilon.The Daleks try unsuccessfully to exterminate the Doctor and then explain that they are also suffering from the same Plague and Power drain and also need Parrinium. So The Daleks, the Doctor, and the humans form an uneasy alliance to obtain Parrinium and escape Exxilon. However the Exxilons ambush them and they are captured and are taken to the Exxilon caves where the Doctor interrupts Sarah Jane’s sacrifice and is also condemned to death. However the dual sacrifice is suddenly interrupted when a second force of Daleks attack with different weapons killing a number of Exxilons. They force the captured Exxilons and humans to mine Parrinium. The Doctor and Sarah flee into underground tunnels. Meanwhile Daleks reveal a diabolical plan to use the Perrinium to immunise themselves against the Plague whilst spreading it to other planets in order to kill the local population and conquer other worlds

Later The Doctor and Sarah meet a group of subterranean, fugitive Exxilons. Their leader, Bellal, explains that the city was built by the Exxilons’ ancestors, who were once capable of space travel. The ancient Exxilons built the city to be capable of maintaining, repairing, and protecting itself. However the city became self-aware and self sustaining and tried to clobber the Exxilons who fought back but to no avail and now the savage surface dwellers and Bellal’s group are the only survivors. Bellal’s people seek to complete their ancestors’ last, failed act – to destroy the city and ensure their race’s survival. Bellal explains that the city supports itself through underground “roots” and the aerial beacon. The Doctor goes to the city to resolve the problem.

Shortly afterwards The Daleks enter the maze-like city and the Doctor and Bellal face negotiating a series of increasingly lethal booby-trapped corridors whilst being hotly pursued by the Daleks in order to get to the Central Chamber and try to turn off the City’s computer and deactivate the beacon. However the City’s computer fights back, then the Dalek’s appear and it really kicks off. Meanwhile the bomb placed on the Beacon explodes and power is restored, which has a devastating effect on the city. Elsewhere The Daleks decide to leave Exxilon with the Parrinium intending to fire a Plague missile at Exxilon and destroy all life on the planet and reveal a devious plot to blackmail the galactic powers by witholding the Parrinium with which to immunise themselves against the space plague unless their sinister demands are met. However Sarah Jane reveals that all is not as it seems, Elsewhere Galloway stows away on the Dalek ship with explosive results…

Posted in music

Astro (UB40)

Astro, the percussionist and one of the founding members of British Reggae/pop band UB40 was born June 24 1957. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, UB40 were named after the Unemployment Benefit form, in protest of widespread unemployment (As was the song “One in Ten” and have gone on to enjoy massive success, having placed more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and also achieving considerable international success. The band have also been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984, were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. One of the world’s best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. Among Their hit singles are their debut “Food for Thought” and two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with “Red Red Wine”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “I Got You Babe” featuring guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.

The ethnic makeup of the band’s original lineup is diverse, with musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage. The band’s initial lineup lasted for 30 years from the band’s formation in 1978 until frontman Ali Campbell’s departure from the band in 2008. Since that time, two other founding members (Mickey Virtue and Astro) have also left the band, and the trio of Campbell, Virtue, and Astro have since formed UB40 Reunited and are due to play Birmingham O2 Academy on 19 December, London IndigO2 on 20 December and Manchester Academy on 21 December 2014. They also have a new song “Reggae Music” available to download from the website http://www.ub40.org and the released a new album in 2015.

Posted in computers, Internet, Science-tech

Alan Turing

imageBritish mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist Alan Turing OBE, FRS was Born on June 23rd, 1912 in Maida Vale, and grew up in Hastings. He displayed great individuality from a young age. At 14 he went to Sherborne School in Dorset.Turing subsequently read mathematics at Cambridge,He was completely original thinkerwho shaped the modern world, and assisted in the development of the innovative Manchester computers. He was also highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine, which played a sinificant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligece.He also became interested in mathematical biology and wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, which were first observed in the 1960s.

On 4 September 1939 the day after Britain declared war on Germany, Turing reported to Bletchley Park where he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS)the forerunner of GCHQ, Britain’s codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. Turing led a team whose ingenuity and intellect were turned to the task of breaking German ciphers. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers and One of Turing’s main contributions whilst there was to invent the Bombe, an electromechanical machine used to find the daily settings of the Enigma machine. as a result he played an absolutely vital part of the British war effort and It is without question that his efforts helped shorten the war significantly, saving the lives of millions of people.He was also a remarkable British hero who helped create the modern world. Now known as the father of computer science, his inventions contributed greatly to the groundwork for the modern computer.

After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman’s Computing Laboratory at Manchester University, where he assisted in the development of the Manchester computers and invented a type of theoretical machine now called a Turing Machine, which formalized what it means to compute a number. Turing’s importance extends far beyond Turing Machines. His work deciphering secret codes drastically shortened World War II and pioneered early computer technology.He was also an early innovator in the field of artificial intelligence, and came up with a way to test if computers could think – now known as the Turing Test. Besides this abstract work, he was down to earth; he designed and built real machines, even making his own relays and wiring up circuits. This combination of pure math and computing machines was the foundation of computer science.

Despite his invaluable help during World War II AND all his other achievements, he was treated badly. A burglary at his home led Turing to admit to police that he was a practicing homosexual, at a time when it was illegal in Britain. This led to his arrest and conviction in 1952 for ‘gross indecency’. He was subsequently forced to choose between imprisonment and chemical castration. He chose chemical castration (treatment with female hormones) as an alternative to prison.As a result of his conviction he lost security clearance and was not allowed to continue his work. Sadly On 8 June 1954 just over two weeks before his 42nd birthday, Turing was found dead from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined that his death was suicide and he had poisoned himself with cyanide.

Since Turing’s birth, attitudes have changed and The US-based Association of Computing Machinery has given The Turing Award annually since 1966. This is the computing world’s highest honour for technical contribution to the computing community and considered equivalent to the Nobel prize.On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”.Despite his valuable contributions Turing did not receive the recognition and plaudits that he deserved while alive, However this has now been redressed and there is now A fully functional replica of the Bombe which can be found today at Bletchley Park, along with the excellent Turing exhibition. Turing has also been immortalised on film in The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Posted in Events

UN Public Service Day

The United Nations Public Service Day takes place Annually on June 23 To celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”. A Public Service is described as a service which is provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus such as democratic elections, that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income. Even where public services are neither publicly provided nor publicly financed, for social and political reasons they are usually subject to regulation going beyond that applying to most economic sectors. Public service is also a course that can be studied at a college and/or university. Examples of public services are the fire brigade, police, army, and paramedics.

The UN Economic and Social Council established that the United Nations Public Service Awards be bestowed on Public Service Day for contributions made to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige and visibility of public service. Experience demonstrates that without good governance, nationally or internationally, and an efficient, competent, professional, responsive and highly dedicated public service, sustainable development and livelihood are jeopardized.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration emphasized the role of democratic and participatory governance in assuring the rights of men and women to “live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression, or injustice”. It also noted that good governance within each country is a prerequisite to “making development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want”.

The United Nations (UN) Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. The overall purpose of the United Nations Public Service Awards is to recognize the institutional contribution made by public servants to enhance the role, professionalism, image and visibility of the public service in the following categories: Preventing and combating corruption, Improving the delivery of services, Fostering participation in policy-making decisions. Advancing knowledge management in government and Promoting gender responsive delivery of public services.

Posted in films & DVD, music

James Horner

220px-Titanic_posterOn June 22, 2015,the Prolific Oscar Award winning Film Score Composer James Horner was tragically killed at the age of 61 when his Embraer EMB 312 Tucano turboprop aircraft crashed into the Los Padres National Forest in southern California. Born August 14, 1953. Horner was an accomplished concert hall composer before he moved into writing film scores and he became known for integrating choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and frequently used Celtic musical elements.

He began his career scoring films by working for B film director and producer Roger Corman. His first composer credit was for Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond the Stars. He then scored Lady in Red and his works steadily gained notice in Hollywood, Horner made a breakthrough in 1982, when he had the chance to score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, establishing himself as a mainstream composer. Horner continued composing music for high-profile releases during the 1980s, including 48 Hrs. (1982), Krull (1983), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Commando (1985), Cocoon (1985), Aliens (1986), *batteries not included (1987), Willow (1988), Glory and Field of Dreams (both 1989). Horner also collaborated multiple times with directors Jean-Jacques Annaud, Mel Gibson, Walter Hill, Ron Howard, and Joe Johnston. Horner composed music for over 100 films, and won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Satellite Awards, three Saturn Awards, and was nominated for three British Academy Film Awards.

MV5BMTYwOTEwNjAzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODc5MTUwMw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Horner’s score for Titanic is the best selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time while Titanic and Avatar, both directed by James Cameron, are the two highest-grossing films of all time. At the 70th Academy Awards, Horner won Oscars for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for “My Heart Will Go On” (which he co-wrote with Will Jennings). In addition, Horner and Jennings won three Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for the soundtrack and My Heart Will Go On. Titanic also marked the first time in ten years that Horner worked with director James Cameron (following the highly stressful scoring sessions for Aliens, Horner declared that he would never work with Cameron again and described the experience as “a nightmare”). After Titanic, Horner scored The Perfect Storm, A Beautiful Mind, Enemy At The Gates, The Mask of Zorro, The Legend of Zorro, House of Sand and Fog and Bicentennial Man). Horner also worked on smaller projects such as Iris, Radio and Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius. He received his eighth and ninth Academy Award nominations for A Beautiful Mind (2001) and House of Sand and Fog (2003), but lost on both occasions to Howard Shore. He frequently collaborated with film director Ron Howard, beginning with Cocoon in 1985. Horner composed the 2006–2011 theme music for the CBS Evening News. The theme was introduced as part of the debut of Katie Couric as anchor on September 5, 2006. Horner recollaborated with James Cameron on the 2009 film Avatar, which became the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing Titanic (also directed by Cameron and scored by Horner) and was nominated for a Golden Globe, British Academy Film Award and Grammy Award but lost out to Michael Giacchino for Up.

Horner also composed the score for the 2010 version of The Karate Kid and In 2011, Horner scored Cristiada (aka For Greater Glory) which was released a year later and Black Gold. In 2012 Horner scored The Amazing Spider-Man, and in 2015, and wrote the music for Jean-Jacques Annaud’s adventure film Wolf Totem, which marked his fourth collaboration with Annaud and also Horner’s first film score in nearly three years. At the time of his death in 2015, projects to which Horner was attached included the forthcoming film The 33 for director Patricia Riggen, and Southpaw, a sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams. Both films are slated for release later in 2015.

Horner’s scores have been sampled in trailers for other films. The climax of the track Bishop’s Countdown from his score for Aliens ranks fifth in the most commonly used soundtrack cues for film trailers. In 2014, Horner composed the commission piece Pas de Deux, a Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, which was premiered on November 12, 2014, by Mari and Hakon Samuelsen with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko. The work was commissioned to mark the 175th season of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Horner also composed Collage, a Concerto for Four Horns, which premiered on March 27, 2015, at the Royal Festival Hall in London by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martin, with David Pyatt, John Ryan, James Thatcher and Richard Watkins.