Monday, June 30, 2008

Song 306 (Jethro Tull--"Man of Principle")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/01/JethroTull_Nightcap.jpg

I had no song in mind for this pick, so I spun my playlist again and I came up with this rarer track from 'Tull's Nightcap album.
This song, I believe, was recorded during the '88-89 Rock Island sessions; whatever the case it is late 80's Tull. It was unreleased until the album Nightcap, which is a compilation album consisting entirely of unreleased material. From what I understand Ian Anderson did not want to release the album because he did not want to appear as if he was trying to squeeze money out of 'Tull fans. Ian agreed to release it in limited numbers and he donated all of the proceeds to charity.
Anyway, this song is very much straight-up, guitar driven hard rock. Martin Barre is excellent in this song, he is the main draw in this one for me as well as David Pegg's bass. The song's subject matter is very British and is similar to the subject matter to "Thick as a Brick." It is about the expectations put upon a young man to be who the parents want him to be and how the he struggles with it.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Song 305 (Blind Faith--"Can’t Find My Way Home")



I have always loved Steve Winwood's music; for me one of the best chapters has to be his music with Blind Faith. For those not acquainted, this was a supergroup consisting of: Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. This is one of those songs that that you can easily listen to in almost any mood. Of course, with this excellent lineup the musicianship and arrangements are spectacular.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a performance circa '69 on YouTube.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Song 304 (Rammstein--"Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Don’t Die Before I Do)"

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This is one of the more interesting and different Rammstein songs. It is a duet sung in German and English. Till sings his part in German and Sharleen Spiteri singing the English part; also Bobo, who has provided vocals in previous Rammstein songs, did some backing vocals on this song as well.
The mixing of German and English really makes for an excellent contrasting effect that makes it standout quite a bit. In my opinion Till puts forth one of his best vocal performances in this one. I have not fully been able to figure out what the song is about other than two lonely individuals wanting be together but something separates them; either by time or perhaps one is a ghost or something, but I am not too sure.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Song 303 (Tom Petty--"Runnin’ Down A Dream")



I was listening to this song yesterday and I figured that it would make a good choice; this is one of my favorite of Tom Petty's songs.
The straight-up rock and roll sound of the rhythm section is what makes this song incredible. This song has a lot of hooks to it, the best hook of the song is at the very beginning with the opening guitar riff; I really like Jeff Lynne's contributions to this whole album as well.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTub.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Song 302 (Savatage--"Complaint In The System")



I had a situation come up last night that really annoyed me concerning jury duty and I though that this song's title really matched my feelings.
The song has nothing at all to do at all with my situation except the title and of course metal music fits my mood as well. This whole album contained songs that were about two different events: Maersk Dubai Incident and the murder of Irish journalist Veronica Guerin; his song was about the latter. This was also the last album in which Zachary Stevens was with the band as lead singer. It is quite a bit heavier than its counterparts on the album, Jon Oliva's keyboards are one of biggest draws for me.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Song 300 (Rush--"Natural Science")



I figured that with this being my 300th pick, I needed a special song to choose. This was not one of my favourite songs from Rush, however at the recent concert that I attended they really impressed me with performing this song in its entirety.
This one is one of the last bastions of the Rush '70s long, epic "concept" songs; it contains three parts: I. Tide Pools (2:21) II. Hyperspace (2:47) III. Permanent Waves (4:08). The main subject matter of the song is about the scientific theories pertaining to the rise of life and civilizations on Earth. From what I understand the song was written quite quickly during the recording session.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Song 299 (Eric Burdon & the Animals--"San Franciscan Nights")



This song is not from the original group "The Animals," but a second incarnation with only Eric Burdon carrying on from the original group. I have always loved Eric Burdon's artistry that he puts into his work. I like how they throw the "Dragnet" theme at the beginning while he asks people to visit San Francisco to fully understand the song. However, forty years later I doubt that San Francisco is the same as it was with the Hippy movement; this really dates the song quite a bit. I love the melody to this song as well as his vocals that are sung with great genuineness.

Here is a music video with the studio version on YouTube.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Song 298 (Marc Cohn--"Walking In Memphis")



For some reason this song started running through my head today whilst I was working on my Datsun Z-Car. I have not heard this song in ages and since I like the song I figured that I would choose it.
This song is about what Marc Cohn experiences and impression on his trip to Memphis as a young singer/songwriter. After doing a bit of research on this song I found that many believe that the song was either done by Bruce Sprinsteen or Bruce Hornsby; this is probably due to Marc Cohn's similar writing/singing style to these artists.

Here is a fan video with the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Song 297 (The Steve Miller Band--"Take The Money And Run")



I need to make a quick pick tonight and after hearing this song at least once in the last three days, I figured that it would make an excellent pick. This hit song chronicles the exploits of a couple, Billy-Joe and Bobbie-Sue, who are a Bonny and Clyde like characters.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Song 296 (John Denver--"Opposite Tables")



Most know that John Denver was not only as a brilliant singer/musician/songwriter, but an activist as well. This song is about two conflicts and bringing the sides together that are bent on each others' destruction; the first one seems to be an inner struggle and the second being about an actual conflict between two parties. The song takes the form of a prayer to God for Him to open conflicting parties' eyes in a last-ditch effort to avoid them killing each other. To me the song is about trying to find the words that end/prevent conflict and bringing others to the realization of the vision of peace.
The music of the song is a bit different from what most think of as John Denver music in that there is an infusion of the pop/rock styling of the early '80s infused with the folk sounds of his previous work.

Here is the studio version on iLike.com

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Song 295 (Ozzy Osbourne--"The Road To Nowhere")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/35/Ozzy_Osbourne_-_No_More_Tears.JPG

I felt like some Ozzy today and this is one of my more favoured songs. Its arrangements are its best attribute in my opinion, especially Zakk Wylde's guitar. Everything fits perfectly with the use of the introspective, maudlin lyrics and vocals.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Song 294 (Savatage--"Skull Session")



Last night this song came on my iPod. I have been meaning to choose it for a while, but I forgot; I figured that it now is as a good time as any. I love the guitar in this one quite a bit, it is the main draw for me, of course Jon Oliva's vocals are incredible as ever.
If you are thinking of the "Dead Winter Dead" or "Trans-Siberian Orchestra" sound of Savatage, this is not it at all. They are more in the speed/thrash metal sound similar to that of Megedeth on this album mostly due to their producer on this album, Max Norman, who also produced Megadeth albums. From what I understand this album was also banned for a while because they did not put the "Parental Advisory" stickers on it and this song was one of the reasons because it is filled with some sexual innuendo. Anyway, it is a nice head banging mood song and a nice addition to my list.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Song 293 (Ten Years After--"I’d Love To Change The World")



This is another song that I have loved ever since I have first heard it. Mostly what got me into this band at first was the band's ominous name: Ten Years After. From what I understand, their name actually has to do with the band being fully established ten years after Elvis Presley's main success.
This is probably their most famous song, however the band did have quite a few more hits to name as well. The subject matter of the song is a blur of events and issues facing the world at the time, especially conflict; it's a societal protest song of sorts. The music to the song is very much like the riff-heavy blues/rock of the time. Probably the most distinct part of this song other that the lyrics/singing is the excellent guitar work.

Here is a fan video with the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a neat video with the song and band footage on YouTube.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Song 292 (The Police--"Message In A Bottle")



This is one of my favorite songs from Sting and the Police; it deals with the subject of alienation.
The dynamics of the song are excellent, I love the way that the song drags a bit in the verses but picks up in the chorus. The rhythm section of this song is the most powerful aspect in my opinion; this is apparent in the interlude at the end of the chorus.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Song 291 (Crowded House--"Don’t Dream It’s Over")



I am toward the end of another busy day of mowing the lawn, doing housework, playing with my little one, and visiting with my sister and brother in-law. This after playing Metal Gear Solid IV until the wee small hours of the morning last night.
Anyway, I really did not have a song ready to choose, so I grabbed one off of my playlist that I like and felt like listening to. What is great about this song is the excellent calming music along with surrealistic lyrics which makes it excellent for my mood for today. I first remember hearing this song on a movie back around the time it was first released, however the film's title escapes me at this time. But at least I came away liking the song even though I did not know the name of the band at the time.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Song 290 (Elton John--"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road")



I am having a busy and productive Saturday and I need to make a quick pick. I heard this song the other day on the radio and it was a potential pick in the back of my mind. Also, yesterday I saw a programme on the television about the making of this album which also cemented the pick, so I figured that now is a good time to choose this song from the excellent writing talents of John/Taupin.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a Top of the Pops performance on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '76 on YouTube.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Song 289 (Queen--"A Kind of Magic")



I felt like choosing something by Queen today and this song is one of my favoured by them. Anyway, what really got my attention is the prominent bass line, which is deceptively simple but drives the entire song. As with every song by Queen the musicianship is exquisite and almost perfect for the song.
Most would remember this song if you watched the first Highlander movie, this album was basically the soundtrack for the film; music from this album was also used for future movies and the series.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is the original version heard from the movie Highlander on YouTube.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Song 288 (Fastball--"The Way")

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Back in late 90's to early '00s I remember an influx of new pop/rock bands that came on the scene and this was one of them. From what I understand the band has not broken up and are presently working on their 5th album even though they have not repeated the success from this song. It has a lot of hooks in it, especially the transition from minor chords in the verses to major chords in the chorus. For me, I really like the rhythm in the verses and the drums throughout the song especially; if you have a stereo that can produce good bass the drums really shine.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Song 287 (Soft Cell--"Tainted Love")


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I had not heard the song in a while until I heard it on an earlier episode of the new Doctor Who series, which brought it back into my attention. This, along with the fact that the song was running through my mind lately made me feel like picking it. It's quite a fun, catchy tune.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is the long version with Where Did Our Love Go on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Song 286 (The Wallflowers--"One Headlight")



I have been on the road a lot this last week and this song popped up on the iPod multiple times; I figured because of this the song was needing to be chosen. The main reason that I like this song was because of what was going on in my life at the time I first heard it and the song is tied to those memories. Even without that aspect the song is strong enough to be a favourite.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Song 285 (Billy Joel--"Tell Her About It")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f3/BillyJoel_AnInnocentMan.jpg

While on the road today this song came on and I felt that it was an excellent pick. I have always loved this musical genius and after recently watching a few taped Billy Joel concerts and interviews I have come to respect him enjoy his music even more. Anyway, this a very nice romantic tune that belongs on anyone's list.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '84 on YouTube.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Song 284 (Megadeth--"Captive Honour")

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After finding out on Friday that I had to go in for jury duty this song really seemed to fit my mood. The jury duty compounded with not being at home much of the last three weeks really exacerbates my mood. Anyway, a good dose of Megadeth really brings me back down and I hope that I can get out of being picked.... In any instance Megadeth never lets me down when I am in this mood.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Song 283 (Focus--"Hocus Pocus")



I have noted as of late that I have been picking songs that I have not heard in a while and all of a sudden it either pops into my head or I hear it on the radio; this pick is no different. Recently, I heard this song on the radio and I knew that it needed to be added to my list. It is very much a '70s Progressive Rock song that is mostly known for showcasing the vocal talent and the yodeling by the lead singer Thijs Van Leer.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance of the song on YouTube.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Song 282 (Lynn Anderson--"Rose Garden")



For the last few days this very catchy song has been going through my mind and I finally decided to pick it. This is an empowerment song that was indicative of the time period in which it was released; many pop/country songs of that era shared similar themes. The song is about a lover threatening to leave and the other lover saying go on ahead, but you better know what you are losing. It is very hard not to dance to this song because of the prominent bass and drums; almost everyone usually at least taps to the rhythm. Probably the best aspect of the song is Lynn Anderson's vocals, which really rounds out an excellent song quite well.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a television performance on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Song 281 (Tears For Fears--"Sowing the Seeds of Love")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/Seeds_of_LoveLP.jpg

I had no song ready to pick, so again I spun my playlist and found this song and decided it would be an excellent choice. I actually disliked this song when it first came out, however over time I have come to find the finer points of the song that make it a gem to listen to.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Song 280 (Rammstein--"Asche Zu Asche")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Rammstein_Herzeleid_cover.jpg

This song is off of Rammstein's first album, Herzeleid and has much of the same themes as in many of their songs. It is quite heavy yet is still listenable to the masses; it carries a lot of excellent musicianship throughout, I especially like Till's vocals and Ollie's bass solo. This is definitely music has to be cranked to be fully appreciated.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from Völkerball on YouTube.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Song 279 (Every Mother’s Son--"Come On Down To My Boat")



Every now and then a song that I have have not heard in a while pops into my mind; I take it as a sign that it needs to be chosen. To my knowledge I haven't heard this song in over ten years and yesterday I was hearing it in my mind as if it was playing, so I decided to pick it. It's very much one of those catchy '60s pop songs.

Here is a 45rpm recording of the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a television performance on YouTube.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Song 278 (U2--"Sunday, Bloody Sunday")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2e/U2_War_album_cover.jpg

A while ago I had a friend that was getting into music after being brought up in a very sheltered existence concerning music. He wanted to know if there were any Irish bands that were political and intense, I rattled of a bunch of bands to him and I showed him some of the different Irish bands' music, in the end he came to like U2.
Anyway, this is an excellent political, anti-conflict song that dealt with the violence in Ireland. Probably the three main aspects of the song that make it what it is: the drum beat, the guitar riffs, and Bono's vocals.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Song 277 (Rush--"The Way the Wind Blows")


Last night I saw Rush play this song in concert at the Gorge Amphitheater at George, Washington for their "Snakes and Arrows" tour. I figured that I would pick a song that they played from their new album today. They played about six songs from it and this one was fitting due to the sheer amount of wind at the venue; even Geddy Lee made mention of this at the concert. The show that they put on for this song in particular was excellent and the main reason for choosing it; their stage presence and the visuals were excellent. The song's subject matter deals with a lot of current events mostly the religious intolerance and wars, but also it deals with the current political situations here in America.

All I can say is: excellent band, excellent show, excellent venue, but a crummy staff. The staff all walk around treating the concert goers like felons with kleptomania and a history of murder; most of the staff, from all appearances, could have been drug abusing thieves that I wouldn't trust with a pet rock.
Anyway, I digress.
The entire concert was beyond excellent and they really played their hearts out at this show. After this show I have a lot more respect for all of the members of the band for the main reason that they played almost a four hour set with no opening act and did not show any fatigue. They put a lot of comedy in their show as well with the little skits hat they played on the big screens, especially funny was the South Park "Tom Sawyer" bit. There are too many highlights that I could go on and on about.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is live footage of the song from the show I was at on YouTube.

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