Friday, January 30, 2009

Song 522 ( Blue Öyster Cult - Veteran of the Psychic Wars )



A couple of nights ago I was watching the animated sci-fi film Heavy Metal, which this song is part of the soundtrack; this caused the song to start playing in my mind.
Anyway, this is the first truly progressive BÖC song outside of their standards that I was introduced to. After hearing this track I immediately started collecting their records and have been hooked ever since. The Sci-fi lyrics and the bombastic "big sound" are probably turnoffs to a casual listener, but is a real treat to a nerdy Prog/Rock fan.

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

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Song 521 ( Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird )



This morning I learned that yesterday Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell passed away at the age of 56; a heart attack is the suspected cause. Apparently he suffered from heart problems for a while and the day before his death he missed an appointment with his cardiologist. My thoughts and prayers go out to him, his friends and family. This leaves one pre-plane crash member alive that is currently playing in the band: Gary Rossington.
The reason that I chose this song is because the keyboard is easily one of the most memorable; the live versions of this song showcase his playing ability quite a bit more. While he played on many other songs that I love, I could not think of a better time to choose this iconic anthem.

Here is a fan video with the song on YouTube.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Song 520 ( Edgar Winter Group - Free Ride )



I heard this one on the road this morning and I thought that it would make a good pick for today; you can't have too much Edgar Winter. For being somewhat of a Progressive Rock song it has permeated pop culture quite a bit, which is a bit strange. Most likely the reason is because it is quite danceable with plenty of hooks.

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

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Song 519 ( The Who - Getting in Tune )



For some reason last night this song started running through my mind and I decided that it was one I should make my pick. This is one of the mellower songs from The Who, but it still is full of The Who sound. For a slower song it is quite energetic, I love how the song keeps building and adding as it goes and peaking in the bridge. If one listens past the surface of the song, there is a lot going within the song that you might not normally hear.

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

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Song 518 ( Elmer Bernstein - The Magnificent Seven (Theme) )



A couple of nights ago I fell asleep watching this movie (it was playing late at night) and the music has been running through my mind ever since. Everybody has probably heard this music or portions of it somewhere in pop culture over the years. To me the song is a fusion between classical and western; it makes for a very nice sound.
I have been trying to watch this movie for some time ever since I found out that it was an American retelling of Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, (one of my favorite movies of all time). However I always seem to catch just the ending or it is on at a late hour on the television. I might have to go to the video store and see if they have it maybe....
During the 60s and 70s a lot of the Samurai films were adapted to the American audience. A couple of instances: Yojimbo was adapted into the Clint Eastwood movie A Fist Full of Dollars, and even the epic film Star Wars borrowed from The Hidden Fortress.

Here is a recording of the full song on YouTube.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Song 517 ( Wings - Band on the Run )



On the way home tonight this one popped on my iPod and I realized that I had not chosen anything from Wings as of yet, so I will. I have always liked this song with its distinct sections; because of the sections the song keeps your attention and is more interesting.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from '76 on YouTube.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Song 516 ( Bad Company - Seagull )



Today while out on the road this song came on the radio and I immediately knew I had my song for today. I have always liked it a lot ever since I first heard it; I love the acoustic Folk Rock sound and feel or this song. It has seemed to me that all Bad Company albums with Paul Rodgers on them are all but greatest hit albums in themselves; there are really no weak tracks, just an amazing group of artists.

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

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Song 515 ( Rush - Nocturne )



This is one of my favorite tracks from their album Vapor Trails, which is thought by most Rush fan to be their comeback album after their hiatus during the late 90's - early '00s. What originally got me liking this song was the opening line: "Did I have a dream, or did the dream have me?"
I actually kind of like the stripped down sound that they used throughout; it made their sound quite fresh. I especially love Geddy's use of chords on the bass, which allowed Alex Lifeson more freedom on his guitar work. However, ever since I first heard this album I thought that there was a something wrong with the mastering because of the amount of clipping and lack of depth that can heard through the album on most songs. With that aside in my opinion the album and this song are pretty good, a testament to the longevity of their song writing abilities.

Hear Nocturne on YouTube.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Song 514 ( Duran Duran - Rio )


I heard this song yesterday whilst on the road and I figured that it was time to add another Duran Duran song to my list. As with a lot of their music, John Taylor's bass is the driving force for this song, of course the saxophone solo is a nice touch as well.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is their "Top of the Pops" performance '82 on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from '84 on YouTube.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Song 513 ( Nightwish - 10th Man Down )



I ran across this song a while ago while looking through the Nightwish discography and it became one of my favourites from the band. It is definitely a protest song against war, which one I am not sure or if it is war in general. It is one of the songs that features fellow Finnish musician/singer Tapio Wilska sharing vocal duties as a guest musician; he is most notable from the bands Finntroll and Sethian among others. His vocals are dark and brooding in direct contrast with Tjara Turunen's vocals, which makes for an awesome duet.

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

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Song 512 ( The Thermals - No Culture Icons )



After first being introduced to their music via their song: I Hold The Sound, which can be found here on YouTube; I later came across this song while looking up some of their other material. The only description that I can think really fits of would possibly be "Indie-Punk," if that make any sense. What got my attention the most is how well Hutch Harris' vocals contrast with the music. One of the more endearing aspects of this whole album that make it stand out is the low fidelity, which gives it a great deal of character.

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

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Song 511 ( R.E.M. - Stand )

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This song is super catchy; it has been played a lot on the radio in recent weeks and it is stuck in my mind, so I guess I'll add it to my list.
Anyway, if you were around in the late '80s/early '90s this song was unavoidable and I would venture to say that many of people on the Earth during that time would recognize this one instantly if played today. For the longest time I found this song annoying and did not like it, however, over the years the song has steadily grown on me.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Song 510 ( Journey - Who's Crying Now )



I heard this song today while out and about and is my choice for my late night pick tonight. The calm, soulful sound epitomizes my mood tonight after a busy day. The song is excellent musically and is perfectly balanced in most every way in my opinion. I should say more about this great song here, but I am quite tired.
I'm off to bed now... goodnight.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Song 509 ( Weather Report - Teen Town )



This is more of a rocker from the Fusion-Jazz band Weather Report from the pen of Jaco Pastorius. For that reason it is one of the songs on this album that showcases his bass playing a lot. Oddly enough, with that being said, my favorite version of this song was a Marcus Miller cover of the song, which can be found here on YouTube.
One of the aspects that I like the most about this song is how Joe Zawinul plays the same melody as Jaco on the synthesizer, which makes a neat chorus effect.

Hear the studio version of Teen Town on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from '77 on YouTube.
Here is an excellent live version from '78 on YouTube.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Song 508 ( Diana Ross & The Supremes - Reflections )

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This is one of my favorite songs, if not my favorite song from Diana Ross & Supremes. As with most Motown songs it is rhythm driven, both the bass and drums are fantastic. I have always loved Diana Ross' vocals, both sweet and powerful at the same time.

Hear Reflections on YouTube.
Here is a television performance on YouTube.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Song 507 ( Rob Zombie - Dragula )



This is the first official day of my semester and I need something to headbang to, so I figured that Rob Zombie would be more than appropriate. This song's titled was supposedly inspired by the car from the television show The Munsters of the same name. I remember, what seems like a long time ago, one of my old friends showed me this song and I was immediately hooked. It is excellent straight ahead, no frills, kickass metal.

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

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Song 506 ( Miles Davis - Flamenco Sketches )



This song is easily one of my absolute favorite Miles Davis tracks. It is a very mellow Jazz composition that is quite listenable even to those who are not fans of Jazz. The song is experimental in that there is no definitive melody present; instead there was a lot of improvisation as well as the use of modal scales.

Hear Flamenco Sketches on YouTube.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Song 505 ( Zakk Wylde - Farm Fiddlin' )



This is another one that I have been waiting to choose for some time and now seem as a good time as ever. This song was recorded with Zakk Wylde's band Pride and Glory, which was another side-band that he formed in the 90s, and was part of the compilation: The Guitars that Rule the World.
The song really shows off his range as well as his virtuosity with the different styles of music. For me the best part of the song is the first part, which is in the Bluegrass style of guitar picking and is just incredible; after that section it goes into the classic Zakk Wylde sound that is just as awesome.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Song 504 ( The Doors - Love Her Madly )



I'm in the mood for some Doors music this morning, so here's is my pick. The bass really drives this song and makes it quite danceable. I like Ray Manzarek's keyboards throughout the song and of course Jim Morrison's vocal work was in its usual excellent form.

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

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Song 503 ( Oasis - Champagne Supernova )



I have been meaning to choose this song for quite some time, but other songs kept butting in and were chosen for some reason. About a month or so ago this song was on the air a lot and came to my attention. Quite a nice song for the beginning of a new week.

Watch the music video on YouTube.
Watch a live performance on YouTube.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Song 502 ( Johnny Cash - Solitary Man )



Well, it is after midnight so I will make my pick because I have it already decided on this one; it is a cover by Johnny Cash of the Neil Diamond classic. I love what he did with the song in making it his own, his vocals are simply outstanding on this track.
Why I have chosen this song is because tonight the final episode of Stargate Atlantis aired and this song was used in the next-to-last episode called Vegas. One of the main characters in the series, John Sheppard, was a fan of Johnny Cash and in the episode, that was "inspired" by the show CSI, the song was used toward the end as an elegy of sorts. I have watched this series from premier to end and enjoyed most of it, so I figured that picking this song would be very fitting.
Anyway, it is an excellent song for the closing of not only a favored television show, but my week as well.

Hear Johnny Cash's Solitary Man on YouTube.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Song 501 ( Journey - Lights )



A lot of Journey's music was running through my mind last night and this morning. This one especially was seeing a lot of playtime in my mental playlist, so I figured that I would add it to my list. I love Steve Perry's vocals in this one, they are the main draw for me along with Neal Schon's guitar playing.

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

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Song 500 ( The Proclaimers - I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) )



With this being a milestone on my list I needed a song that fit somehow. Well, the other day I was reorganizing my iPod and came across this song that had that fitting title; I decided on making it my 500th choice.
I have always liked this song for various reasons, mostly because of the time period when it was first released.
This one has also become linked with the Johnny Depp film Benny and Joon, which it was part of the soundtrack. It is sometimes hard to not remember the movie if you hear this song.

Watch the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance of the song on YouTube.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Song 499 ( James Gang - Funk 49 )

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It is song 499 today and I thought that this one would be a good one for the pick; it's a classic rock standard. This is a nice guitar heavy track with an excellent rhythm section, similar in sound and feel to most power trios of the time.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Song 498 ( Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze )



I ran into this song yesterday on the radio while dodging commercials. Surprisingly, for a soft rock song the song is quite musical and listenable to a musician's ear; the arrangements and lyrics are quite a nice fit.

Hear Summer Breeze on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Song 497 ( Traffic - John Barleycorn )



This is quite an odd song if you look at it a certain way. It is a traditional British Folk song concerning the processing of grains to make things such as bread and alcohol. However, it was written as such to make the listener believe that the grain is a person getting tortured to death in a truly horrific manner.
I have always loved Traffic's version of the song, they did song a great service. The vocal harmonies are just amazing and tight, they mix excellently with the progressive acoustic sound of the song.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Song 496 ( The Kinks - Do It Again )



I just noticed something funny, I chose Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan two days ago and Mother's Little Helper by the Rolling Stones yesterday; I did not realize that until now; quite a funny coincidence.
Anyway, on to my song choice today.
This one started running through my mind this evening as I was pondering my song choice, of course, I'm choosing it. I really like most of The Kinks' material and this song is not an exception. I figured that it would be an excellent choice for the new week and school starting as well; getting back to do it all over again.

Watch the music video on YouTube.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Song 495 ( The Rolling Stones - Mother’s Little Helper )



While working today this infamous song concerning drug abuse by housewives was running through my mind; it is quite catchy and gets stuck in your mind quite easily. I believe that the drug that they are referring to in the song is the anxiolytic drug Miltown or Meprobamate. The common "street" name for this drug, as I learned while taking my many substance abuse classes, was/is "Mother's Little Helper."
Anyway, it is a fantastic song to end my Saturday.

Hear Mother's Little Helper on YouTube.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Song 494 ( Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone )

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I had no reason to choose this song other than I like it. It's nice to see a band of musicians come together to make a song as great as this one; I especially love Al Kooper's contribution on the organ in this song. I have always loved the deep and introspective lyrics that come from Dylan's pen. From what I understand this one was originally a book that he wrote and later made it into a song.

Hear Like a Rolling Stone on YouTube.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Song 493 ( U2 - New Year’s Day )



Happy New Year! Just got done watching the ball drop on Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve and figured that I would pick a song before I headed off to bed. Very interesting festivities tonight on television, no real good acts performed that caught my attention tonight. However, one of the better highlights was Robbie Knievel making a jump on the Las Vegas Strip, which was pretty awesome.
Anyway, I could not let this day go without choosing this aptly named song for the occasion. I have always liked this one quite a bit, although it's not my favorite song by U2. The rhythm is the main draw for me, I love the smooth yet melancholy sound; it is just a great track.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a performance from Top of the Pops on YouTube.

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