Music Facts

  • Although one of his eyes looks darker than the other, David Bowie's eyes are actually both blue. One pupil is permanently dilated because of a fight in which a friend stabbed him in the eye with a compass.
  • As a child, Elton John didn't need glasses, but wore them anyway to look like Buddy Holly. They damaged his eyes to such a degree that he was soon forced to wear them.
  • The Rolling Stones tongue logo was inspired by the Indian Hindu goddess Kali The Destroyer.
  • The Beatles are the only band with six diamond albums (albums with sales of over ten million each): Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, The Beatles 1962-1966, The Beatles 1967-1970, The White Album, The Beatles 1.
  • Coldplay is named after a British psychology book called Child's Reflections, Cold Play.
  • When Joey Ramone died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer, the surviving members of The Ramones vowed to never perform together again.
  • In 1987, the Beastie Boys album Licensed To Ill became the first rap album to reach number one in the US.
  • Before becoming famous Sheryl Crow sang in jingles for McDonalds. Her line was "It's a good time for the great taste of McDonalds".
  • Bryan Adams quit school when he was only 16 to make music.
  • The Beatles were the first pop group to be made into wax sculptures at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London
  • Shakira, whose name means "full of grace" in Arabic, has a genius-level IQ of 140.
  • Tina Turner's hair fell out in 1960 after she tried to bleach it - she's been wearing wigs ever since.
  • Stevie Wonder plays most of the instruments on his albums. He can play the keyboard, bass, drums, and harmonica.
  • Although it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985, We Built This City, by Starship, was chosen as the worst song ever by Blender magazine and featured on The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever, a VH1 music video countdown.
  • In 2000, Bon Jovi were the last band to ever play at Wembley Stadium in London.
  • New York's Yankee Stadium's first rock concert featured Billy Joel on his 1989 Storm Front tour.
  • Dido's full name is Dido Armstrong. She is named after an African Warrior queen. Her brother is Rollo Armstrong, band member and producer of Faithless.
  • Bryan Adams, Moby, K. D. Lang, Shania Twain, Fiona Apple, and Thom Yorke do not eat meat.
  • The Beatles never released a live album.
  • Madonna was briefly a member of the band Breakfast Club in the late 70s in which she played the drums.
  • Natalie Imbruglia, Kylie Minogue, and Holly Vallance have all appeared on Australian soap opera Neighbours at one time or another.
  • In 1988 at the age of 20, Kylie Minogue became the youngest female to top the UK album charts when her self-titled debut album went to number one.

How to Broaden Your Musical Horizons

Have you hidden behind the boundaries of a single music genre all your life? Is your CD collection boring and scarce? Have you started to notice that all the music that's commercially successful seems like variations on a single theme--a theme that you're getting tired of? Here's how to offer your ears a new and ever-changing menu of music.


Listen to Internet radio stations. Forget standard radio. Browse all kinds of stations--international, trip hop, electronica, alternative, death metal, soundtracks, etc. Let them play in the background while you browse the Web, answer emails. If you hear a song you like write down the title, album, and artist.

Browse music stores online. Type in the name of a band or song that struck you and listen to samples of all their albums and songs. Check out related artists (often mentioned in editorial reviews and the recommendation section) too. Find out what music genre the song or musician(s) you're interested in fall into, and shop by genre.

Ask interesting people what they listen to. You know that guy on the bus who wears a trenchcoat, eyeliner, and fingerless gloves? Next time you see him bobbing his head to his DiscMan, ask him what he's listening to. Either he'll think you're rude, or, more likely, he'll be delighted at the chance to share his musical taste with someone who's actually curious. Instead of asking people how they're enjoying (or not) the weather, ask them questions like:
  • What's the first CD you bought?
  • What's the last CD you bought?
  • If you had to choose one song to summarise your life what would it be?
  • Has a song ever made you cry?
  • If you were to make a soundtrack to your life what would be on it?
Listen to whole albums. Oftentimes an artist or group puts out one or two singles that engage popular appeal but are uncharacteristic of their work. And quite commonly the jewels of music are buried in albums, far away from radio play. So if a catchy single drew you in don't be surprised and throw the CD away if the rest of the songs aren't just like it.

Listen to an album more than once before deciding whether you like it or not. It's best to listen to an album three times before you make your judgment especially if it's a genre you don't normally listen to. For example, if you're listening to your first heavy metal CD you'll probably spend the first run furrowing your eyebrows as your ears adjust. By the second run you might start to feel your toes tap, and a little bit of headbanging coming on. And by the third time around you could very well be singing along and listening carefully to the lyrics. You don't necessarily have to listen to an album three times in a row--just make sure you've given it the full benefit of the doubt before you toss it.

Go underground. Find out who the local bands are and where they play. Visit venues that feature independent artists. If you live near a major city find out where you can listen to great music live and go there. Even if it's a group or performer you've never heard of, and/or a type of music you don't normally like, sometimes listening to music live can make a believer out of you and change your listening perspective.

Take a class in music theory. You can better appreciate music by understanding how it works. Music has many layers that are difficult to recognise and enjoy without knowing what the difference is between music and noise. In other words listening to music without understanding music theory is like being into cars without having any idea what's under the hood.

Learn to play an instrument. What better way to further your appreciation for musical artists and the work they create than by learning to create it yourself? Cover your favorite songs. If you're drawn to certain songs and genres because of the emotion it stirs in you chances are that emotion will be amplified if you genuinely try to play that music yourself. And who knows? You might discover your inner musician and start creating music of your own.

Go to the library. The library is a wonderful repository of wealth. Think of it like this: what's theirs is yours! Besides all the books there libraries also stock music too. All kinds of music: rap, country and western (both the modern and the old), blues, classical, opera, world music, reggae, techno, trance disco, etc. Whatever your library doesn't have, they can order from other libraries. Connect the dots. Or, in this case, the artists. Identify a few artists you consistently enjoy then find their collaborations. Next find compilations that include them and listen to the other artists on that album. On that same note identify soundtracks that have featured their music and you're likely to find similar musical stylings. Also for an artificial but entertaining way to simulate this without the effort try http://labs.google.com/sets.


  • Read an online e-zine such as http://www.musicismymiddle.com.
  • Consider trading mixtapes with friends and eventually you might like to make some for them to share your new music.
  • Support diversity and creativity by buying CDs and merchandise directly from struggling musicians who have done your ears a favour by presenting something unique.
  • Be willing to put your money where your mouth is or at least where your ears are. For, say, every ten CDs that waste your time and money you'll find one that changes your life. That's just the way it goes.
  • Check out free music download sites (the legal ones!) like http://music.download.com/. Choose from the styles or just stream whatever has been reviewed on the home page. Some of the stuff is shocking but you may find a gem or discover a style you never knew existed.
  • Sign up to last.fm and/or pandora.com. Both sites offer free streaming music content using their services. It's not "on-demand" but they have all sorts of streams you can listen to. Even matches you up with people (on the site) similar to your music style, so you can find new music.


People will probably look at you funny as you explore music that spans beyond the kind of music someone like you is "supposed" to listen to. Have fun shattering your stereotype and put the volume up when someone raises an eyebrow.

Written initially by Krystle C originally for WikiHow.

Top 20 Songs 20 Years Ago (1986)

  1. That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick and Friends
  2. Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
  3. I Miss You - Klymaxx
  4. On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
  5. Broken Wings - Mr. Mister
  6. How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
  7. Party All The Time - Eddie Murphy
  8. Burning Heart - Survivor
  9. Kyrie - Mr. Mister
  10. Addicted To Love - Robert Palmer
  11. Greatest Love Of All - Whitney Houston
  12. Secret Lovers - Atlantic Starr
  13. Friends And Lovers - Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson
  14. Glory Of Love - Peter Cetera
  15. West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
  16. There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry) - Billy Ocean
  17. Alive And Kicking - Simple Minds
  18. Never - Heart
  19. Kiss - Prince and The Revolution
  20. Higher Love - Steve Winwood

Top 10 Songs 10 Years Ago (1996)

  1. Macarena - Los Del Rio
  2. One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
  3. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
  4. Nobody Knows - Tony Rich Project
  5. Always Be My Baby - Mariah Carey
  6. Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman
  7. Tha Crossroads - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
  8. I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis
  9. You're Makin' Me High/Let It Flow - Toni Braxton
  10. Twisted - Keith Sweat

Top 5 Songs 5 Years Ago (2001)

  1. Hanging By A Moment - Lifehouse
  2. Fallin' - Alicia Keys
  3. All For You - Janet
  4. Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me) - Train
  5. I'm Real - Jennifer Lopez Featuring Ja Rule

So what is karaoke?

Now popular through many countries, this Japanese pastime is a recent innovation. Where did it come from and what changes have happened since it first began?

Karaoke bars have become very popular in many countries around the world, as have karaoke restaurants with songs often available in other languages. Nonetheless, the mention of going to one often elicits groans and moans from those involved. Still, once there and with microphone in hand, those who complained the loudest are often the hardest to stop!

The word 'karaoke' comes from 'kara', empty (as in karate - empty hand) and 'oke'(short for okesutora), orchestra. Rather than including both vocals and music, karaoke tracks only have the music. The vocals are provided by a live person (not a professional) who holds a microphone and sings while following the words displayed on a screen or in a book.

While most people agree that it started in Kobe, the origins of karaoke are obscure. One story claims that a snack bar owner, when a performer failed to appear, put on tapes of music and asked people if they wanted to sing. From such insignificant beginnings, karaoke has spread, not just throughout Japan, but also throughout the world and the term 'karaoke', while pronounced differently, has been accepted into common language usage.

From its early origins on tape, karaoke moved into CDs, finally incorporating videos and graphics along with on-screen text prompts for those unsure of the song words. The fad spread into bars and restaurants and, even if the person singing wasn't very good, they were applauded at the end. Some people would sing lots of songs and some would only sing one but karaoke brought the people at the venue together in a whole new way.

The impact of new technology

The first real revolution with the technology came with the development of home karaoke sets which meant that you could sing at home whenever you wanted. You can buy karaoke tapes with books to try at home even if you don't have a karaoke set and, one advantage of them is that they often have one side with the music only and one with music and vocals so that you can learn new songs.

Unfortunately, one side problem of the karaoke sets was the noise - as Japanese houses tend to be close together and not well insulated, so the Karaoke Box was developed. Karaoke boxes were initially built from converted freight cars as soundproof places where you could sing really loudly if you wanted to. They soon became popular and were put up wherever there was space in both rural and urban areas. A good place to practice if you felt your singing wasn't quite up to human consumption!

More than just music

Japanese people not only sing Japanese songs, but also Western songs. Popular songs are those by Elvis and The Beatles although more modern songs are now available. This is not just to sing something different, but without realising it, they are practising their English skills! The same works in reverse with many foreigners studying in Japan able to sing Japanese karaoke songs. It's a good way of surprising Japanese friends.

If you've never tried karaoke, you're missing out! For 3 and a half minutes of fame, you just pay and choose a song that you like and wait for your choice to come up. Microphone in hand, follow the marking of the text on the screen and you can't go too far wrong unless you really don't know the song! You can sing alone or with someone else, or even in a group if you're really nervous. It's definitely something everyone should try at least once in their life.

Written by Tracey Jones - © 2002 Pagewise

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Singers Real Names

  • Jon Bon Jovi's - John Francis Bongiovi
  • Bob Dylan's - Robert Zimmerman
  • Tina Turner's - Anna Mae Bullock
  • George Michael - Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou.
  • Dido's - Florian Cloud De Bounevialle Armstrong.
  • Busta Rhymes - Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr.
  • Courtney Love - Love Michelle Harrison
  • Alice Cooper - Vincent Damon Furnier
  • Weird Al Yankovic - Alfred Matthew Yankovic
  • Tori Amos - Myra Ellen Amos.
  • will.i.am's - William James Adams Jr.
  • Fergie - Stacy Ferguson
  • Sid Vicious - John Simon Ritchie-Beverly.
  • Cher - Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere.
  • Moby - Richard Melville Hall.
  • Marilyn Manson - Brian Warner
  • k. d. lang - Kathryn Dawn Lang
  • Bono's - Paul David Hewson
  • The Edge - Dave Howell Evans
  • David Bowie - David Robert Hayward Stenton Jones
  • Eric Clapton - Eric Patrick Clapp
  • Boy George - George Alan O'Dowd
  • Nat King Cole - Nathaniel Adams Coles
  • Buddy Holly - Charles Hardin Holley
  • Tom Jones - Thomas Jones Woodward
  • Ringo Starr - Richard Starkey
  • Stevie Wonder - Steveland Morris