Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1045 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into The Great Wide Open

1045 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Into The Great Wide Open
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/95/Tom_Petty_ITGWO.jpg

I'm having another rather busy day today; I heard this one the radio whilst on the road this morning. As with many of my impromptu picks it really fits my mood quite well. Tom Petty's music is always good for these otherwise busy days to help keep the calm.

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


My song pick a year ago today: The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
My song pick two years ago today: Jethro Tull - Man of Principle

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1044 Queen - Play The Game

1044 Queen - Play The Game
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/16/Queen_The_Game.png

Having another one of those odd days, at least musically. I started out with no song in mind to pick, then had quite a few come to mind. However, when I finally sat down to make my pick this track forced its way in.
I have always loved this song quite a bit, while being a mellow ballad it still has so much musically packed in there.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Jerry Reed - Guitar Man
My song pick two years ago today: Blind Faith - Can't Find My Way Home

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Monday, June 28, 2010

1043 Rush - Caravan

1043 Rush - Caravan
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fb/CaravanSingle.jpg

Yesterday I discovered that Rush had released two new tracks as singles off of their yet-to-be-released album Clockwork Angels. Yes, I know it was almost a month ago that they were released; there was very little fanfare for them and I did not expect them to release them so early before the album's release. This song: Caravan is the A-side and BU2B is the B-side; from what I understand BU2B stands for: Brought Up To Believe.
It is quite a fun song; I immediately sat down and figured out the chord structure and the bass line. To me the sound reminds me a lot of their last album: Snakes and Arrows with a lot of licks, runs and chords similar to that of the Hemispheres (late 70's) era. It seems a bit heavier than what they released in the last 15-20 years; I am hoping these two songs are representative rather than the exception to the sound of the final album. I guess I will have to wait till next Spring to find out.
The critics are probably already getting warmed up to call them "overblown" and/or "pretentious" again. God bless the music critics; without them the haters and sheepies would be left without and opinion to call their own.

Hear the album version of Caravan on YouTube.
Hear the single version on YouTube.
Watch a live performance on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: John Denver - This Old Guitar
My song pick two years ago today: Rammstein - Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Don't Die Before I Do)

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

1042 John Lennon - Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)

1042 John Lennon - Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Instantk.jpg

For the last few years I have gotten more and more into John Lennon's post-Beatles work; I listened to it with more of an open mind and came to like it quite a bit. I have actually come to prefer his post-Beatles work to much of his material with The Beatles.

Hear Instant Karma! on YouTube.
Watch a music video on YouTube.
Watch a live performance on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Fuel - Million Miles
My song pick two years ago today: Tom Petty - Runnin' Down A Dream

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

1041 Traffic - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

1041 Traffic - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Traffic_-_The_Low_Spark_of_High_Heeled_Boys.png

It's not a bad song that has been running through my mind most of the morning, and well... early afternoon. Anyway, the light Jazz mixed with Progressive Rock sounds of this track is an excellent song to fit my mood today; a very nice piece of music indeed.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Hawkwind - Silver Machine
My song pick two years ago today: Savatage - Complaint In The System

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Friday, June 25, 2010

1040 Jigsaw - Sky High

1040 Jigsaw - Sky High

I remember hearing this track a lot whilst growing up. Not only did it get a lot of play on the radio/television, but quite a few of my dad's super hit records from the '70's contained this track. This one was probably their biggest hit, although they had some others throughout the band's life, just not as big.
This song is quite catchy and usually gets stuck in your mind pretty easily. It is a highly danceable tune as well with an enormous amount of hooks in it. The disco/pop/rock sound kind of dates the track, however most mainstream pop music of any era sounds dated about five to ten years after its release.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Steeleye Span - Thomas The Rhymer
My song pick two years ago today: Donovan - Mellow Yellow

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

1039 PAIN featuring Anette Olzon - Follow Me

1039 PAIN featuring Anette Olzon - Follow Me
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/17/Pain-cynic-paradise-2008.jpg

I felt like picking something a bit different today. I discovered this Swedish Metal act a while ago; they have an interesting sound. To describe it, it is Metal with some definite Electronic influences. On this song Anette Olzon, from Nightwish, shares lead vocals with Peter Tägtgren.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a version of the song sans Anette Olzon on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Nightwish - Phantom of the Opera
My song pick two years ago today: Rush - Natural Science

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

1038 The Who - Rael (1 and 2)

1038 The Who - Rael (1 and 2)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/98/The_who_sell_out_album_front.jpg

For no reason whatsoever I felt like choosing this one today. While being a Pop song, The Who still keep it as musically interesting as ever. From what I understand there was a re-release of The Who Sell Out with another Rael 2, which can be found here on YouTube; on that release this song was apparently retitled as just Rael 1.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: The Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet - Joy Spring

My song pick two years ago today: Eric Burdon & the Animals - San Franciscan Nights

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

1036 Rammstein - Das Alte Leid

1036 Rammstein - Das Alte Leid
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Rammstein_Herzeleid_cover.jpg

This is yet another song that I have been thinking about picking for quite a while now. For the most part this is a rather subdued track in comparison to much of their other material; it features a steady, even beat and Till talk-singing over it for the most part. A very nice track for an otherwise busy Monday.

I should warn that this song contains an F-bomb; a rarity for a Rammstein song, however it is in German. NSFW.
Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '96 on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Savatage - The Piper Rap
My song pick two years ago today: The Steve Miller Band - Take The Money And Run

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

1035 Jethro Tull - Moths

1035 Jethro Tull - Moths

I had a few songs in mind for this pick, but when it came on the iPod for the umpteenth time I figured I should choose it. My iPod must really love this track; for as long as I can recall, every time I have been on the road this song comes on. It is weird that 1 song out of the well over 5000 songs seems to come up that frequently.
Anyway, to describe this track I, myself would have to call it: Folk meets Disco. This is a rather poetic description of moths being drawn to an open candle flame and burnt to death. I love his rather vivid and beautiful descriptions both actual and symbolic.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Steely Dan - Dirty Work
My song pick two years ago today: John Denver - Opposite Tables

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

1034 Dizzy Gillespie - Night In Tunisia

1034 Dizzy Gillespie - Night In Tunisia
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6e/Jazz_at_Massey_Hall.jpg

This is a Jazz standard from the pen of Dizzy Gillespie that I have been working on for the last little bit; feels like an excellent choice for my pick this evening. It was actually quite a revolutionary piece at the time of his writing it and is a very influential song for not only Jazz, but for music as a whole. This one contains a some very interesting rhythms and an awesome bass line; pure musical bliss.

Here is a studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live recording circa '45 on YouTube.
Here is a live performance featuring Arturo Sandoval on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Tommy James - Draggin' The Line
My song pick two years ago today: Ozzy Osbourne - The Road To Nowhere

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Friday, June 18, 2010

1033 Bon Jovi - Keep The Faith

1033 Bon Jovi - Keep The Faith
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3a/KeepTheFaith.jpg

I felt like some Bon Jovi this morning; this is one of my favourites from the band. This track is best known for Alec John Such's straightforward and effective and driving bass line. It is quite an uplifting and empowering song; in my opinion tracks like this one are what elevated them past their contemporaries.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Neil Young - Rockin' in the Free World
My song pick two years ago today: Savatage - Skull Session

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

1032 The Grass Roots - Let's Live For Today

1032 The Grass Roots - Let's Live For Today

Been meaning to pick this one for some time now; I feel as if lately I am getting caught up on picking songs in the queue.
Anyway, this is one of The Grass Roots' bigger and earlier hits, although it was actually a cover. The band that originally recorded the song was a British beat group called The Rokes; their version can be found here on YouTube. Oddly enough, the band was living in Italy and the song began its life written in Italian with the title Piangi Con Me, (Cry With Me), (which is here on YouTube). After the song became a hit in Italy, they translated it to English and adjusted some lyrics. However, the version in English that actually made it big was The Grass Roots'.
One of my favourite aspects of this track is how it was mixed and mastered. I often referred to this track as "headphone music," i.e. it sounds the best through a set of headphones. In this one half way through the verse the vocals and some instrumentation slowly moves to the left head phone, then just before the chorus begins from the right you get blasted with "1, 2, 3, 4;" it is an awesome call and response effect.
There are a few other songs where they used cool effects like this, one that I can think of off the top of my mind is Billy Thorpe's Children of the Sun; if you listen to that one with headphones on the music swirls around your head. Of course through the '70s bands like Pink Floyd really set the standard for headphone music; it's a shame that no one really does this much anymore.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: The Ventures - Walk-Don't Run
My song pick two years ago today: Ten Years After - I'd Love To Change The World

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1031 Steeleye Span - Black Jack Davy

1031 Steeleye Span - Black Jack Davy
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2a/SteeleyeSpan-AllAroundMyHat.jpg

For most of the morning various Steeleye Span songs have been running through my mind; this is one of their tracks that I have been meaning to pick for a bit now, so it seems like an excellent match.
This traditional song is known by many titles, but is probably best-known by the title: The Gypsy Laddie. It is known as a Border Ballad, which basically means it was written in the border region between England and Scotland. Apparently it was written in the early-mid 1700's from the Scots' side of the border.
This one has been performed/recorded by a multitude of acts over the years, but I especially like the Steeleye Span version.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Heart - These Dreams
My song pick two years ago today: The Police - Message in a Bottle

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1030 The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City

1030 The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8b/Hums_of_the_Lovin%27_Spoonful.jpg

I can't believe that I have not yet added this song to my list; it was long overdue. This one is a classic; there is a certain timeless quality about it. All the way across the board from lyrical construction to chord progression this is an excellent track in my opinion.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Jethro Tull - Wond'ring Again
My song pick two years ago today: Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over

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Monday, June 14, 2010

1029 Jimmy Dean - Big Bad John

1029 Jimmy Dean - Big Bad John

I have been having another busy day and did not have a song in mind for today's pick. I noticed that singer/musician/television personality/sausage magnate Jimmy Dean passed away at the age of '81 yesterday. This was the first of his songs that came to mind, so I am making it my pick today.
Anyway, many have probably heard this track from the early '60s about a miner named Big John, who gives his life to save the rest of the miners during a disaster. It was one of the few songs to actually cross barriers and become a hit not only in the Country charts, but the Pop charts as well.
R.I.P. Jimmy Dean.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Savatage - If I Go Away
My song pick two years ago today: Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

1028 Ray Stevens - Mr. Businessman

1028 Ray Stevens - Mr. Businessman

For some reason this track has been running through my mind most of the day; I though it would make an excellent late Sunday pick. I remember hearing this one a lot when I was younger, but I haven't heard in a while.
When most think of Ray Stevens they probably remember his silly songs, however he did have some with a serious tone; this is one of them. In this rather poppy tune he berates an unnamed businessman, or rather the lifestyle of the men of that ilk.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Elton John - Tiny Dancer
My song pick two years ago today: Queen - A Kind of Magic

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

1027 Blue Öyster Cult - Take Me Away

1027 Blue Öyster Cult - Take Me Away
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a8/Blue_%C3%96yster_Cult_-_The_Rev%C3%B6lution_by_Night.jpg

I am in the mood for some more Space Rock today. This one is from their '83 The Revölution by Night album; it has more of the straight-ahead Rock feel in the vein of their popular tracks.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
My song pick two years ago today: Fastball - The Way

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Friday, June 11, 2010

1026 John Denver - Calypso

1026 John Denver - Calypso
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/89/Windsong.jpg

I had a few songs in mind for this pick, however I noticed that today would be Jacques Cousteau's 100th birthday; immediately this song kept playing in my mind. I figured I should pick it, plus it is an excellent song for the occasion.
John Denver wrote this song as a paean to Jacques Cousteau and his famous research ship Calypso. It is quite an uplifting track, one of those song that showcases John Denver's immense vocal range.

Here is a video with the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '77 on YouTube.
Here is an interview with John Denver concerning the conception and writing of the song with a music video at the end on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: What Made Milwaukee Famous - Idecide
My song pick two years ago today: Soft Cell - Tainted Love

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

1025 Hawkwind - Zarozinia

1025 Hawkwind - Zarozinia
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/be/The_Chronicle_of_the_Black_Sword_-_Hawkwind.jpg

I was up to the wee hours of the morning listening to the music of Hawkwind and Dave Brock. For some reason I kept being pulled to the music from The Chronicle of the Black Sword album; this love song in particular got a lot of replay. It is a very beautiful song with deep lyrics featuring mostly keyboards and vocals with various sound effects and some guitar as well.
To those who are not aware, this album and its songs are based on Michael Moorcock's series of fantasy novels about Elric of Melniboné. The album's title itself is a reference to the main character, Elric's black sword: Stormbringer. From what I understand the name of the band itself, Hawkwind, is derived from another one of Moorcock's characters: Dorian Hawkmoon.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
My song pick two years ago today: The Wallflowers - One Headlight

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

1024 Rush - The Pass

1024 Rush - The Pass
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/00/Rush_Presto.jpg

I had been considering adding this track for a bit now; it seems like an excellent time as ever. While this is considered to be one of their weaker albums, in my opinion it contains a few rather nice gems; this is one of them. I love the use of chords on the bass guitar; the lower-pitched chords adds to the melancholy sound/feel of the song.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '90 on YouTube.
There are quite a few more live videos on YouTube as well, however just so you know, expect many NFL and NCAA Football videos to come up when you search for "Rush The Pass;" be sure search for "Rush The Pass -football" to get relevant results.


My song pick a year ago today: Days of the New - The Down Town
My song pick two years ago today: Billy Joel - Tell Her About It

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

1023 The Moody Blues - I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)

1023 The Moody Blues - I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dc/Mbseven.gif

I've had this song running through my mind for the last couple of days and when I went to search for the song on ye olde iPod, surprisingly it was not there. Apparently I have not brought my LP record of Seventh Sojourn into the 21st Century yet; I will have to remedy this soon. I have most all of their catalogue already digitized, it is weird that I forgot this album, oh well....
The rhythm section in this song is what drives it for me, especially Graeme Edge's drumming; it is quite entertaining watching him play this song live, especially in the earlier performances.

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


My song pick a year ago today: Queen - One Vision
My song pick two years ago today: Megadeth - Captive Honour

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Monday, June 07, 2010

1022 Led Zeppelin - Hey Hey What Can I Do

1022 Led Zeppelin - Hey Hey What Can I Do
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51frXXKsNuL.jpg

Having a particularly busy Monday, I need to make a quick pick. I heard this one on the radio whilst on the road this morning; it feels like an excellent day for a bluesy 'Zeppelin tune.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Marty Simon - Jerhume Brunnen G
My song pick two years ago today: Focus - Hocus Pocus

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

1021 Jim Croce - Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day

1021 Jim Croce - Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4a/Jim_Croce_-_You_Don%27t_Mess_Around_with_Jim.jpg

I had a couple songs in mind for my pick this evening, however this one started playing through my mind whilst I was driving home. As always I took it as a sign that I should choose it, plus the reassuring nature of the song really fits my mood.
Back about 20 or so years ago I procured an 8-Track of the album You Don't Mess Around With Jim for about 5¢; it sure beat paying the $15-$20 for the CD version. Anyway, as anyone with experience with a stereo 8-Track can attest you usually had a "path" that you went through on a tape which consisted of your favourite songs. This is one of the 8-Tracks which I did not have a path, I would play all the way through; simply a very strong album. This is one of the songs in which he wrote as an apology to his wife; quite a beautiful track.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: The Doors - Crystal Ship
My song pick two years ago today: Lynn Anderson - Rose Garden

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

1020 Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer

1020 Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71PrfBnIAlL._SX522_.jpg

Been meaning to pick this amazing Peter Gabriel track for quite a while now.
This is one of many Peter Gabriel songs that I like; of course seeing the freaky stop-motion music video back in the day helped get me into the song as well.
It is one of those songs that is pop enough for the casual masses, but is filled to the brim with all the excellent musicality to tickle the musical connoisseur's ears. It is quite a well-arranged song with a lot of layers going on in it, but Tony Levin's awesome bass line along with the beat that glues the whole song together.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a nice live performance circa '93 on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Johann Sebastian Bach - BWV 29 - Cantata No. 29 - Wir Danken Dir, Gott, Wir Danken Dir
My song pick two years ago today: Tears For Fears - Sowing the Seeds of Love

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Friday, June 04, 2010

1019 Jethro Tull - Journeyman

1019 Jethro Tull - Journeyman

My mind is not really into picking a song this morning, but I will go ahead and do it anyway. Picking a song from one of my favourite bands is always a good standby.
Heavy Horses is another one of those albums that I listen to from front to back without skipping songs, except the ending of ...And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps; that ending really leaves something to be desired.
The song is mostly driven by the rhythm section, especially John Glascock's thumping funk-inspired bass line. To describe the sound of this song, I would have to say: mix the 'Tull Prog/Rock sound, put in a trundling rhythm with a disco feel with the aforementioned funk-inspired bass line; quite a unique sounding track.
The song itself is about the drudgery that is the late commute home. Even with the dull subject matter the way Ian Anderson presents it actually makes it interesting, especially with the vivid imagery.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: Kansas - The Pinnacle
My song pick two years ago today: Rammstein - Asche Zu Asche

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

1017 Benny Carter - All That Jazz

1017 Benny Carter - All That Jazz

The other day I happened upon this track on my iPod, I had completely forgotten that I had it. It was such an excellent treat to hear this amazing track again.
This was one of the main songs from the soundtrack of the 1960s film A Man Called Adam, which featured many Jazz greats. The song oozes cool; it is a Jazz tune with a swinging feel to it and some Soul/R&B mixed in.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is Sammy Davis Jr's Version of the song on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
My song pick two years ago today: U2 - Sunday, Bloody Sunday

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

1016 Hiroko Moriguchi - Samurai Heart

1016 Hiroko Moriguchi - Samurai Heart

This song is used as one of the opening themes of the Anime' Yoroiden Samurai Trooper, distributed and probably better known in the U.S. as Ronin Warriors. This is another show that my wife got me into shortly after we were married.
The song is heavy guitar driven Rock in the vein of 80's guitar music, which is the era that the Anime hails from. The vocals, musicianship, and arrangement are quite tight; it is a very listenable track, probably even to those who don't like Japanese animation.

Here is the full version on the song on YouTube.
Here is an alternate remix of the song with English vocals on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: England Dan & John Ford Coley - Simone
My song pick two years ago today: Rush - The Way the Wind Blows

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