The Opus

Nov 19 2020 25 mins 497

Consequence of Sound and Sony bring you an exploration of legendary albums and their ongoing legacy. Join host Jill Hopkins as she examines how masterpieces continue to evolve: shaping lives, shaking rafters, and ingraining itself into our culture. Maybe you’re a longtime fan who wants to go deeper. Maybe you’re a first-time listener curious to hear more – either way, you’re in the right place.

Welcome to The Opus - Season 11: Santana's Abraxas
Nov 18 2020 1 mins  
Consequence Podcast Network and Sony’s The Opus is back for Season 11 with a new host and a new classic album to explore. Beginning November 19th, host Jill Hopkins (The Moth Chicago, Making Beyoncé podcast) will conjure the enduring legacy of Santana’s landmark Abraxas.  Following the release of their self-titled debut and their subsequent performance at Woodstock, a world of possibility was opened to Santana for their sophomore record. Band leader Carlos Santana suddenly had the means to make the album he’d always dreamed of — but with that came added pressure. With his band of virtuosos around him, Santana set out to find new ways of blending rock music with jazz experimentation,  resulting in an effort unlike anything that had come before, and something that many have striven to emulate since. As Hopkins traces the story of Abraxas from the summer of ’69 to today, she’ll be joined by Carlos Santana himself and band drummer Michael Shrieve. Other scheduled guests include musicologist Mark Brill, Dávila 666’s AJ Davila, and many more. “I’m excited to help tell the story of an iconic album that has followed me from snuck-in listens at grown-up parties to full album immersions through headphones I probably paid too much for,” says Hopkins. “Abraxas sounds just as passionate, percussive, and pervasive to our shared culture as Carlos Santana meant for it to when he and his band of equally talented players stepped off of the Woodstock stage and into musical immortality.” The Opus: Abraxas premieres November 19th, and you can subscribe now. -- Theme music by Tony Piazza.

The Infamous: Mobb Deep's Commitment to the Truth
Apr 24 2020 32 mins  
Rap in the modern age is drowned in theater. Today, the lines between reality and fiction are often so blurred that it's tough to tell what's fact or fiction. Ironically, the old adage of "keepin' it real" was tossed around too lightly amidst the Golden Age of Hip-Hop. One exception to that rule was Mobb Deep. A quarter century ago, Havoc and Prodigy helped ignite the East Coast hip-hop renaissance with their sophomore album, The Infamous, which held up a dark, gritty, realistic mirror to their particular world. Using their lyrics like a photojournalist might use their camera, the duo brought listeners into their often haunting and impoverished corner of Queens. Add in the powerfully sparse, jagged production, and you have a record that changed the perception of hardcore rap forever. For its ninth season, The Opus heads to Queens to discuss the landmark album. Join host Andy Bothwell as he gets the street-level facts from Havoc (the surviving member of Mobb Deep) and Infamous Executive Producer/A&R Schott Free. He also hears some insights from syndicated radio host Headkrack, rapper and Paid Dues curator Murs, and Pitchfork writer Paul Thompson. Together, they discuss how Mobb Deep's journalistic devotion to spitting the truth raised the bar to an impossible standard that even the greatest rappers of their day could never match. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, stream a legacy edition of Mobb Deep's The Infamous via all major streaming services.

Bitches Brew: The Indefinable Greatness of Miles Davis
Mar 26 2020 40 mins  
Fifty years later, there's something about Bitches Brew that still feels strange, wild, and unfamiliar. There's a magic in Miles Davis' cauldron that binds the ingredients to create a potion that is somehow greater than the sum of its exceptional parts. There's an almost indefinable something that somehow elevates the album to new heights -- and that mystery ingredient is what makes the brew so special. Today, The Opus attempts to chase that "something" in the second part of its Bitches Brew season. Join host Andy Bothwell in Columbia's Studio B, where he presides over an equally talented crew that includes: musician and professor Mark Gould (Julliard/New York Trumpet Ensemble); bassist and composer Ben Williams (Kamasi Washington/Pat Metheny); Sound on Sound columnist and author of Miles Beyond: Electric Explorations of Miles Davis 1967-1991 Paul Tingen; Brainfeeder artist and Berklee School of music Faculty Daedelus; and composer and author of 33 1/3: Bitches Brew George Grella. Together they dive deep into Miles Davis' stellar supporting cast and band, discuss the role of producer Teo Macero, and chart how it all circles back to the man of the hour. So, once again, pull up a chair, make yourself another drink, and listen above. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, stream a legacy edition of Bitches Brew via all major streaming services. You can also enter to win the massive 43-CD The Genius of Miles Davis box set, which includes the four-disc The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. 

Bitches Brew: The Importance of Challenging Music
Mar 19 2020 36 mins  
Jazz can often be seen as a genre that challenges listeners, but one of the greatest jazz records of all time -- Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew -- was born out a need to challenge the genre, to push back on the establishment, and to break down old conventions and notions about what jazz could be. Davis saw the future of music coming fast, and it was in funk and rock. If he didn’t catch up, he and jazz would get left in the dust. What resulted from this future forward approach would not only change the genre, but launch Davis from the dark basements of jazz fame to the main stages of stardom. This season, The Opus has booked some time at Columbia's Studio B, where host Andy Bothwell has dialed things back to August 1969. His first night's guests include: Deantoni Parks (The Mars Volta/Technoself), Daedelus (Brainfeeder/Berklee College of Music), Loren Schoenberg (Julliard/National Museum Of Jazz), and writer George Grella. Together, they discuss the importance of challenging music like Bitches Brew and detail how this Grammy-winning album shook up the world of jazz and brought a legend into the mainstream. So, pull up a chair, make yourself a drink, and listen above. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, stream a legacy edition of Bitches Brew via all major streaming services. You can also enter to win the massive 43-CD The Genius of Miles Davis box set, which includes the four-disc The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. 

Bridge Over Troubled Water: Sailing with Simon and Garfunkel
Feb 13 2020 32 mins  
The Opus is crossing a bridge into its seventh season. All good things come to an end, and that is certainly the case for Simon and Garfunkel. With 1970's Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sewed a button to their timeless collaboration. At the time, though, the album wasn't exactly the ideal swan song for critics, who were mixed on the release, contending that the collection of songs didn't live up to its predecessor, 1968's Bookends. History prevailed, though. Bridge Over Troubled Water went on to win Album of the Year at the 1971 Grammys, taking home both Record and Song of the Year for its title track. What's more, the album went on to become one of the highest-selling albums of all time. Since then, tracks like "The Only Living Boy in New York", "Baby Driver", and "Cecilia" have all become permanent fixtures in pop culture. That was then and this is now. In the season seven premiere of The Opus, host Andy Bothwell traces the footsteps of the two bards, even visiting the locations where they recorded. In fact, you'll hear the very halls that helped raise their voices into the heavens. What's more, Bothwell will peel back the immaculate production of the album's most eclectic tracks. It's an aural journey of the senses. Fortunately, he's not the only living boy on this episode. Joining Bothwell is an assembly of guests that include Nicholas Thorburn of The Unicorns and Islands; recording engineer and Tape Op founder Larry Crane; and hip-hop musician and Anticon co-founder Yoni Wolf of Why?. Together, they chart the album's rampant influences and deduce that everyone's ripped off "Cecilia". So, get your plane right on time, and climb aboard. In celebration of the album's 50th anniversary, stream a selection of Simon & Garfunkel's best tracks via all major streaming services. You can also enter to win a vinyl bundle featuring the duo's entire collaborative discography. 

London Calling: The Clash's Great Rebellion
Dec 05 2019 28 mins  
The Opus is getting lost in the supermarket for its sixth season. The Clash were at a crossroads in 1979. The first wave of punk rock ended a year prior when the Sex Pistols called it quits, leaving the movement to explore new avenues, from New Wave to hardcore, and the band to wonder, What are we gonna do now? The answer was London Calling. As Margaret Thatcher continued to remake Britain by looking into the past, so did The Clash, and the English rockers opened up all the rock 'n' roll doors their fellow punk colleagues had slammed over the last decade. They brushed up on their history, they let their sound travel overseas, they started writing narratives. By doing so, they defied any kind of label for themselves, starting a rebellion in the process, and one that The Opus plans to follow. In the first episode of our London Calling series, host Andy Bothwell is joined by Lee "Scratch" Perry, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, L7’s Donita Sparks, writer Dan Reilly (Rolling Stone/Spin/Entertainment Weekly), and filmmaker Joseph Patel (Vice/MTV Docs). Together, they discuss how London Calling didn't need to be punk to prove how punk it was, how it didn't need to be a giant arena record to prove how much it rocked, and how it managed to introduce all kinds of culture with zero pretension. So, hop in their brand new Cadillac and listen now. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of London Calling, revisit a selection of The Clash’s best tracks via all major streaming services, and enter to win both the 40th anniversary London Calling Scrapbook and Super Bundle. 

Welcome to The Opus - Season 6: The Clash's London Calling
Dec 03 2019 1 mins  
Consequence of Sound and Sony are proud to present the sixth season of The Opus. Past seasons have explored the legacy of iconic albums by Bob Dylan (Blood on the Tracks), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Electric Ladyland), Jeff Buckley (Grace), Willie Nelson (Red Headed Stranger), and Ozzy Osbourne (Blizzard of Ozz). This time, we're answering the cry of the only band that matters, The Clash, and their landmark release London Calling. Host Andy Bothwell, a.k.a. Astronautalis, will begin picking up the pieces of the Paul Simonon's bass when episode one arrives December 5th.  The band was in uncertain territory leading into London Calling. After parting ways with their former manager and being forced to relocate to a new rehearsal space, lead songwriters Mick Jones and Joe Strummer were hit with a year-long bout of writer's block. Even on their previous record, they'd begun veering away from the punk they'd helped popularize towards more rock 'n roll sounds. By embracing styles as varied as ska, rockabilly, and pop, they were able to not only shake off their doldrums, but shake up punk rock at large.  "London Calling, is perhaps, the greatest record, from one my favorite bands of all time," says Bothwell. "To say that I am excited about covering this one, would be an ABSURD understatement!  This record didn’t just change how punk sounded, it totally redefined who was punk, what punk looked like, and blew my little American mind the first time I heard it in my brother’s room back in the 80’s!"  The Opus: London Calling premieres December 5th, and you can subscribe now. 

Welcome to The Opus - Season 5: Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz
Oct 22 2019 1 mins  
The Opus is back for a fifth season from Consequence of Sound and Sony. After exploring the legacies of classic records from Bob Dylan (Blood on the Tracks), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Electric Ladyland), Jeff Buckley (Grace), and Willie Nelson (Red Headed Stranger), we’re bundling up to enter the storm that is Ozzy Osbourne’s debut solo record, Blizzard of Ozz. Host Andy Bothwell, a.k.a. Astronautalis, will begin to traverse the frozen tundra of metal when episode one drops on October 24th. After being fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, Osbourne feared his career was over. However, with the help of his future wife, Sharon Arden, and the work of guitarist Randy Rhoads, he saw a second chance to become a heavy metal icon. Blizzard of Ozz blew in like a cold wind of change that would shift not just Osbourne’s life, but the genre as a whole, thanks to hit singles “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley”. Over three episodes, a number of musicians, artists, authors, and metal heads will delve into how the record changed Ozzy’s world and continues to impact music today. Bothwell returns to host the series to guide us through the Blizzard. “I didn’t grow up on Ozzy, I knew the hits, but I had never gone any deeper than that on Blizzard Of Ozz,” Bothwell admits. “But, after researching for this next season of The Opus, I have become a TOTAL fan! I finally understand why metal heads worship this record, and I fully accept and acknowledge Ozzy Osbourne as the Godfather of Metal, and the one true Prince of Darkness!” The Opus: Blizzard of Ozz premieres October 24th, and you can subscribe now. To prepare for the new season, stream a selection of Ozzy Osbourne’s top tracks via all major streaming services. 

Welcome to The Opus - Season 4: Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger
Sep 13 2019 1 mins  
Consequence of Sound and Sony have teamed up once again to bring you the fourth season of The Opus, a podcast that examines the evolving legacy of music’s most iconic albums. Beginning September 19th, the series will head South as it revisits one of country's most beloved albums, Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger, with new host Andy Bothwell, aka Astronautalis. Next year sees Nelson's 18th studio record turn 45, making this the perfect time to revisit the classic LP. Given more creative freedom over his music thanks to a new contract and a new label, Nelson returned to the concept album form with Red Headed Stranger. Weaving covers of old standards in with poetic, stripped down originals, he created an outlaw country tale that transcended its genre into the mainstream consciousness. Over three episodes, The Opus will dig into what the record meant then and how it has impacted music now. Taking listeners through this tour of the album's legacy will be Bothwell, The Opus’ new permanent host. “Every great record has an infinite number of stories to tell, not just from when it was recorded, or when it was released, but for all time, as the music continues to reach and impact new people," says the alternative hip-hop artist. "I am so excited to join forces with Sony Music and Consequence of Sound to dive deep into some of the greatest records of all time, and share their stories with everyone." The Opus: Red Headed Stranger premieres September 19th. 

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