Sunday, July 31, 2011

Song Of The Week: 7/31/11

Song: "When The Levee Breaks"

Artist: A Perfect Circle

Album: "Emotive"

Year: 2004

"When The Levee Breaks" is an old Delta blues song written by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie back in the 1920's. The song achieved most of it's fame when in 1971, Led Zeppelin recorded the song on their landmark album "Led Zeppelin IV". The song was written about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. This caused many of the residents along the Mississippi River to uproot their families to safety as their homes were destroyed by the flood waters. Most of these residents were poor black families. The song was very popular in African American blues music, especially in the south for obvious reasons. A Perfect Circle covered this song on their 2004 album, "Emotive". As they did with most of the cover songs which appeared on this album, they really gave the song a total makeover from the original to give it that distinct APC feel. A Perfect Circle formed in 1999 as a side project for Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan and Tool guitar tech Billy Howerdel. Howerdel was working on some demos that really caught Keenan's ear and he wanted to provide vocals to. Their first album, 2000's "Mer de Noms", would be the highest ever debut for a rock band on the Billboard charts. Where Keenan's main band Tool was much heavier and more on the metal side in their sound, A Perfect Circle was more focused on haunting melodies and more complex song arrangements. From 1999 to 2004, APC released three studio albums as well as a DVD and toured relentlessly in support of these albums. From 2004 to 2008, APC went on a bit of a hiatus as Howerdel would form Ashes Divide and Keenan would work with Tool as well as his other side project, Puscifer. In 2008, rumblings began coming out of the APC camp regarding working together on new material again. Keenan and Howerdel confirmed this, however they said a whole album was probably not going to happen and that they would probably release singles here and there via the internet. Currently, the band has worked on some songs and are currently doing a North American tour that will last from the summer of 2011 into the fall. A headlining spot at the 2011 Lollapalooza in Chicago is also a part of this tour.

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