May 4: This day, that year in music history

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Neil Young
Image Credit: AP

Ohio student shootings inspires Neil Young’s epic tribute

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Neil Young
Image Credit: AP

Pop musicians have often been inspired by true-life incidents like iconic ‘Ohio’, which was written by Neil Young for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Young was moved and pained by the shooting of four unarmed students at Kent University in Ohio that he went into the studio and wrote the tribute just 10 days later.

The students were shot dead and 11 wounded by National Guard troops at a campus demonstration protesting the escalation of the Vietnam War.

In the song, Young references the National Guard troops to tin soldiers controlled by President Richard Nixon.

Young said he rates this the best song he wrote during his days with Crosby, Stills & Nash. He also included it on his 1977 Greatest Hits album Decade.

‘Ohio’ became a protest anthem for Americans who were dissatisfied with the war in Vietnam.

Waterloo become first of many No 1s for ABBA

ABBA
From left: Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Image Credit: AP

‘Waterloo’, a song that won Swedish pop stars ABBA the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, went to No 1 on the UK singles chart, the group’s first of nine UK No 1 singles.

The song was a worldwide hit and also reached No 1 in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland and West Germany.

ABBA also recorded the song in Swedish, French and German.

Originally called ‘Honey Pie’, the song is about the Battle of Waterloo which took place in Belgium that saw the renowned French military and political leader. Napoleon Bonaparte met his first defeat in an epic battle in 1815.

ABBA’s song is about a woman who falls in love with a man who becomes her ‘Waterloo’.

‘Shoop Shoop Song’ ends Cher’s long wait for a solo hit

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Singer Cher
Image Credit: AP

American singer, actress and television star Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian) scored her first solo UK No 1 single with ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ from the film ‘Mermaids’, which she starred in along with Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci.

The song was originally recorded by Betty Everett in 1964, but did not do all that well. However, Cher’s version ended her long wait for a No 1 hit as a solo artist after 1965’s ‘I Got You Babe’ which she recorded with ex-husband Sonny Bono.

Having sold 100 million records to date, Cher is one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. She has won Grammys, Emmys and an Academy Award.

American men’s magazine, Esquire, ranked her at number 44 on their list of “The 75 Greatest Women of All Time”, a definitive list of the women who have shaped the world. Archaic Greek poet Sappho from 630 BCE, tops the list that also features Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I and Marilyn Munroe.


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