Sunday, August 31, 2008

Song 368 ( John Denver - Jimmy Newman )



A few years back I found this record for sale in a local music store; because it was a John Denver record that was not in my collection I bought it, but when I first played this record I was surprised. Most of the music on this album is very different in so many aspects compared to his more popular material; most of this album is quite cynical and dark.
This song from the pen of Tom Paxton is about a couple of soldiers who were severely wounded and are now getting ready to be sent home, but one wakes up to find the other dead and cannot come to terms with it.
Anyway, this song is incredibly dynamic in how it starts with just vocals and acoustic guitar and as then as it goes on more and more instruments come in. Probably one of the best aspects for me is how his vocals start out sunny and happy and by the end of the song his vocals are panicky and frantic. I love the masterful way that he mixes major and minor chords and strumming technique to build the anxiety in this one.

Here is a video with the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Song 367 ( Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies )



This morning when we were getting ready to go to a birthday party we had VH1 Classics on playing the music video to this song. I was amazed to see my little one, who is a little over 2 years old, was clapping along in perfect sync with the beat; I guess that he might be musically inclined.
I love Christine McVie's vocals in this song, in my opinion she does not get the recognition that she deserves mostly because she is overshadowed by Stevie Nicks' vocals in most of the band's music. I love the rhythm section of this one quite a bit as well, both John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are excellent as ever.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Song 366 ( Oasis - Wonderwall )



I had not heard this in some time until yesterday when it was on the radio; funny enough I was working with my iTunes later and found the track again, so I figured that it should be chosen. When this song first came out I remember it being played a lot and was kind of an iconic song of sorts; it's nice to rediscover songs.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Song 365 ( Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun )



This song had a lot of air play back in the 90s, which would have been enough to make it memorable.
It is a very dynamic song, especially in the verses; the vibrato that is used in the song is quite nice. Of course the main hook to this song is the transition from the mellow and melodic verses to the heavier chorus.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Song 364 ( The Polyphonic Spree - Light and Day/Reach For the Sun )



This is an odd band that I have come to like for various reasons. I first saw them playing on Austin City Limits wearing their multi-colored robes; I was intrigued. They almost appeared to me as an odd religious cult of musicians; of course the Koolaid jokes were thrown about while watching them. They are a very talented group of between 20 and 30 varying musicians/singers, they consist of a choir and various other instruments that are not normally found in a pop/rock band. What is odd is that much of their music is in opposition to the cynical and darker music that I normally listen to. One aspect that I really like about them is that there is a lot to listen to in their music; it is quite complex.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Song 363 ( Rammstein - Sonne )



I needed some Rammstein today and I thought the Sonne (Sun) would be an excellent choice. This song is one of their more popular tracks, it's about a fighter in the ring.

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

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Song 362 ( Béla Fleck and the Flecktones - Sunset Road )

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Most who hear their music are usually at a loss to "pigeon hole" them into a genre, however, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones are officially considered Fusion Jazz and Country; I believe that the Country label comes from the fact that Béla Fleck's primary instrument is the banjo. In this song, I hear a lot of classical influences in the way that Béla Fleck plays it; he does an excellent job at it. Of course as always, Victor and Roy "Future Man" Wooten do an great job blending their music with the others' to make the excellent sound that is Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Unfortunately, as with most Béla Fleck's music, it is more musician's music and is lost to some non-musicians and non-connoisseurs of music.

Here is a live performance circa '91 on YouTube.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Song 361 ( Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown )



When I was on the road today this song was running through my mind and I figured that this song would be excellent for a pick. I have always loved Gordon Lightfoot's mellow and powerful voice and it is excellent as ever on this one.

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

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Song 360 (Jethro Tull - Sunshine Day )



This was the first single recorded by the band as Jethro Tull, however the name on the 45 rpm records credits the song to "Jethro Toe," which has made the single a collector's item; it was later released on the 20 Years of Tull Boxed set along with the b-side Areoplane. The song does not have much of the feeling or sound of Jethro Tull as most would know. Sunshine Day was written by their guitarist at the time Mick Abrahams; the sound can be identified more with the blues and beat groups at the time. Quite a nice song for an excellent weekend.

Here is a fan video with Aeroplane, Blues for the 18th, and Sunshine Day on YouTube.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Song 359 (The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun")



I had to get up early this morning and it was quite a treat to see the bright orb rising over the Eastern horizon; this especially after about three days of cold and wet weather. Don't get me wrong, I love the rain a lot but not all of the time, but I digress. Anyway, this Harrison written tune seemed to fit the moment quite well and so I decided on choosing this wonderful Sunshine Pop song for today.

Here is a recording of the song on YouTube.
Here is a live performance by George Harrison on YouTube.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Song 358 ( Ludwig Van Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata Op. 27, No.2)

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This is without a doubt one of my favorite pieces of music from Ludwig Van Beethoven. There is so many contrasting emotions in the song that will take the listener from the feelings of happiness, to sadness, to elation, despair and everything in between. The dynamics used in this song are simply incredible, which is a trademark of Beethoven's genius.

Here is a recording on YouTube.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Song 357 (Duran Duran - "New Moon On Monday")



New Moon On Monday is one of my second tier favorites from Duran Duran, depending on my mood. I like the vocal performances in the song, Simon Le Bon's lead and the backing vocals are well arranged and are quite tight. The best part of the song is the transition from a dragging verses into an upbeat and energetic chorus.

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

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Song 356 (Ian Anderson - "A Better Moon")



Supposedly Albert Moulton Foweraker's Moonlight paintings were the inspiration for Ian Anderson's writing of this track. The song, as with the music on most of the album, contains Middle-Eastern, Indian, and Eastern music styles, which gives it a far off feeling musically; I especially love the use of the Goblet "Darbuka" drum. The Secret Language of Birds' sound is somewhat similar to the Jethro Tull J-Tull Dot Com album, only a bit more Progressive and classical in sound. This album does not see a lot of rotation in my collection, but every now and then I dust it down and give it a play; it is sad because it contains some of Ian's more interesting work.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Song 355 (Glenn Miller - "Moonlight Serenade")



I was thinking of a good song that fit today because it's out seventh wedding anniversary. This Big Band Swing Jazz tune seemed to be an excellent pick to fit this day.

Here is a recording of the song on YouTube.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Song 354 (Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Bad Moon Rising")



This song contains some of John Fogerty's most misunderstood lyrics, i.e. the infamous "There's a bathroom on the right." This is another one of CCR's songs that can be played almost anywhere and everyone usually likes it.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance of the song by John Fogerty on YouTube. LOL @ 2:00 mark: "There's a bathroom on the right."

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Song 353 (Ozzy Osbourne - "Bark at the Moon")



While on the road home tonight this song came on, and with the almost full moon in the sky it seem perfect for this late pick.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Song 352 (The Beatles - "Mr. Moonlight")



This song was running through my head yesterday while I was performing chores around the house. It was one of the songs that the Beatles recorded that was not written by them; it was written by Roy Lee Johnson. The song's sunshine pop lyrics really fit the Beatles pop sound quite well. I love the vocal harmonies a lot in this one, the Hammond organ solo is an excellent addition as well.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Song 351 (Aerosmith - "Cryin’")



I had no song in mind again today, so I randomly chose this guitar heavy blues song from Aerosmith. It seems that songs concerning relationships going afoul usually become quite popular; it also helps that this song also has a lot of good hooks in it.

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

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Song 350 (Marcy Playground - "Sex and Candy")

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c0/Marcy_Playground_-_Marcy_Playground_album_cover.gif

This song is indelibly etched in my memory for two reasons: 1. Its weird music video that I liked, and 2. a lot of memories tied to it around the time it was released.
The alternative or "grunge" sound is very prominent in this one; there are a few hooks and styling in this song as well that give it a lot of distinctiveness. The song holds its own rather well and is a nice slow groove for today.

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

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Song 349 (Molly Hatchet - "Flirtin’ With Disaster")



This song is probably Molly Hatchet's most famous and their biggest hit; it always gets my into a "conquer the world" mood whenever I hear it. Most aspects of this song epitomizes southern rock, however Molly Hatchet's fast-paced "Boogy Woogy" sound is very distinct among others in their genre. Danny Joe Brown's vocals were excellent and are the main driving force of this song; the musicianship of the entire band make this song a gem.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '79 on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '83 on YouTube.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Song 348 (Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) - "Gimme Your Money Please")



I needed some BTO today and I decided that this one would be excellent as a choice. From what I have heard this song was inspired from an actual event when either a band member or an acquaintance of the band was mugged in New York City. This is one the heavier songs on their first album as BTO and it is quite fun to really crank it and head bang to; most of BTO's songs are excellent for this.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '90 with the classic lineup on YouTube.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Song 347 (Rammstein - "Mutter")



Yesterday whilst on the road this was one of the songs that came on and I decided that it should be picked.
This song is about a character like Frankenstein's Monster that laments that it has no true mother and kills its creator, yet finds no solace. I absolutely love Till's vocals in this one, the musical arrangements in this song are some of the best that they have done in my opinion.

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

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Song 346 (Jim Croce - "Roller Derby Queen")



I had no song ready for this pick, so I spun my playlist again and this gem came up. This is another song that Jim Croce wrote about the happenings during his travels. A nice tune that I believe is an excellent pick for today.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Song 345 (Outerstar - "You Love It When It Rains")











This is a nice "kicky" pop/rock song that always puts me in a good mood when I hear it. The main driving aspect of this song is the bass line, which makes this song quite danceable.

Again, this song is not on YouTube; I would advise anyone to try to listen to it at some point, it is well worth it.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Song 344 (Don Williams - "Yellow Moon")

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After a very stressful Wednesday I needed a calm song and this one fit quite well. This calm and melodic love song is arranged very well with the vocal and instrument mix.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Song 343 (The Allman Brothers Band--"Whipping Post")



Lately this song has been running through my mind whilst I have been going about my day; I decided that I would choose it. It is mostly known for is the extended guitar and keyboard improvisation/solos. Another aspect that makes this song unique sounding is the odd time signatures within. Probably the extended live version at the Filmore East is the most memorable version to those who have followed the band. That extended version took up one whole side of a vinyl record with massively expanded solos by both Betts and Allman.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the live recording from Live at the Fillmore East on YouTube.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Song 342 (Joe Cocker--"When The Night Comes")



Today when working in the kitchen this song started running through my head as if it was playing on the radio; a lot of the songs that make it on this list are here for this reason as well. This is one of those songs that can be played in almost any setting to most people and they will enjoy it. I love Joe Cocker's gravely yet powerful voice, this along with the great musicianship in this song make it incredible. A nice rocker with a touch of blues and gospel; a powerful love song from 'The Mad Englishman.'

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Song 341 (Eddie Money - "Take Me Home Tonight")



I have always liked a lot of Eddie Money's material and this is one of his better ones in my opinion. The song's lyrics and arrangement gives off an air of maturity that makes this song the hit that it is. One of the best aspects and hooks of this song is Ronnie Spector's "Be my little baby" vocals; both of their vocal talents mix quite well in this one.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from The Late Show with David Letterman on YouTube.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Song 340 (The Enemys--"Sinner Man")


I first heard this extremely rare track when I bought a special edition Three Dog Night greatest hits album called Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story. There were a few pre-group recordings from the singers, this one was from Cory Wells' group: The Enemys. This bluesy song sounds similar to the beat group songs of the mid 60s, Cory Wells' soulful lower-register vocals on this one give it a haunting feeling and really is the main draw.

Here is the studio version on YouTube. I can't believe this song is on YouTube!

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Song 339 (Balance--"Breaking Away")











I had not heard this song in over 15-20 years and it popped into my mind today; I figured that I would choose it.
The group Balance was a one-hit band; this was their hit. I remember first hearing this song on an 8-Track tape that my Dad recorded off of the radio; I had only heard it a couple of times on the radio since. This very danceable song has the sound of the late 70's to early 80's pop/rock but is only little bit dated in its sound.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Song 338 (The Doors--"Love Me Two Times")



I was listening to this song this morning and it seemed like an excellent pick. I have always liked The Doors' music a lot and this song is definitely one of their best ones. The way they blended their different styles together made for their excellent, distinctive sound.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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