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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

London Legendary Concert Venues: the Hammersmith Odeon

The Hammersmith Apollo, located in Hammersmith, London, England, has been a rock venue for decades, first opened in 1932, and known as "Gaumont Palace Hammersmith" until 1962. It is now a Grade 2* Listed Building.It houses a fine 4 manual Compton theatre organ which is currently undergoing extensive overhaul.
It is in this earlier incarnation that the venue is best known internationally, especially since Motörhead's 1981 live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. Many legends of rock have performed at the Hammersmith Odeon, including The Cult, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, The Cure, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Iggy and the Stooges, Metallica, The Who, Rush, and Queen. David Bowie also performed his final concert as Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Odeon in July 1973. Not to forget Bruce Springsteen's legendary performances in 1975. Neil Young also famously gigged there in the same year, actually setting part of it on fire. Johnny Cash also performed there in 1966.
Queen have played several concerts here including the legendary Christmas concerts in 1975 and 1979. The night after Queen's 1979 concert, the Hammersmith Odeon hosted the 4-night Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, a benefit concert to raise money for Cambodian residents who were victims of the tyrannical reign of dictator Pol Pot of which Queen played the first night.
The venue was later refurbished and re-named The Labatt's Apollo following a new sponsorship deal with the Belgian-owned Canadian brewery.
Later again, it was re-named The Hammersmith Apollo, where it played host to a number of stage production, notably Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Doctor Dolittle.
In 2002 the venue was again re-named, this time to the Carling Apollo after another brewery (a British one this time) struck a deal with the owners, US-based Clear Channel Entertainment.
Many bands have released live CDs or DVDs of concerts held at the Apollo. Kylie Minogue & Girls Aloud released DVDs of their concerts at the Apollo in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and a DVD of a Bruce Springsteen concert held there in 1975 was released as part of the Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package, and later was released the CD Hammersmith Odeon London '75. Melodic death metal band In Flames also released a DVD that featured footage of a December 2004 peformance here. Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard performed his show Glorious here, also on DVD.
It has a capacity of 5039 standing and 3632 sitting.

Duran Duran - London Hammersmith Palais 01-05
Duran Duran are a British New Wave band notable for a long series of catchy, synthesizer-driven hit singles and vivid music videos. They were the most commercially successful of the New Romantic bands, and a leading band in the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the United States. They are still often identified as an "Eighties band" despite continuous recording and chart success over their twenty-eight year history.

Cliff Richard - live in London Hammersmith Palais 11 04
Sir Cliff Richard OBE, birth name Harry Rodger Webb (born 14 October 1940) is one of the United Kingdom's best known singers.
With his backing group The Shadows, he dominated the British popular music scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s, before the advent of The Beatles. A conversion to Christianity and subsequent softening of his music led to his having more of a pop than rock image. Although never able to achieve the same impact in the United States, even though he has had several chart hits there, Richard has remained a popular music, film, and television personality in the UK and also retains a following in several other countries.

Blackstreet & Guy - Live In London Hammersmith 10.05
BLACKstreet was an American R&B group founded in 1994 (see 1994 in music) by Teddy Riley, a New Jack Swing pioneer known for his work as a member of Guy. The band members were: Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Eric Williams, and Terrell Philips (and formerly Joe Stonestreet, Levi Little, David Hollister, and Mark Middleton). Their debut album, BLACKstreet, was a moderate success due to the singles "Booti Call" and "Before I Let You Go", both Top 40 hits ("Before" hit the Top 10). The follow-up, 1996's Another Level (see 1996 in music) was a breakthrough success due to the top single "No Diggity" (with Dr. Dre), which was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996, and won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, along with the Top 40 hit "Don't Leave Me". Another Level eventually went four times platinum in the United States and peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart. "No Diggity" is ranked at #91 on Rolling Stone and MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs, while BLACKstreet comes in at #214 of the Top 500 Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years

Jazzy Jeff - Live in London, Hammersmith Palais 09-05
DJ Jazzy Jeff (born Jeffrey A. Townes on January 22, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American hip hop DJ/turntablist, keyboardist, and hip hop/R&B record producer. He is best known for his early career with Will Smith as half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
Together, the duo had several gold and platinum-selling albums and singles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, earning them the first rap Grammy ever presented in 1989 for Parents Just Don't Understand. When Smith branched out into television with the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jazzy Jeff played the popular recurring character "Jazz", whose trademarks were :
to be physically thrown out of the house by Will's Uncle Phil (James Avery); and his silly one-liners. DJ Jazzy Jeff is not to be confused with Jazzy Jeff from the earlier hip hop group Funky Four Plus One which in fact filed and won a lawsuit over the name Jazzy Jeff against Jeff Townes and Jive records when they signed DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
After DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince broke up, Townes went on to become a prominent R&B, soul, and neo soul record producer, establishing the A Touch of Jazz production company in his native Philadelphia. Among the artists that Jazzy Jeff has helped develop are Jill Scott and Musiq.

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