Saturday, April 30, 2011

1350 Al Di Meola - Race With Devil on Spanish Highway

1350 Al Di Meola - Race With Devil on Spanish Highway
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From: Elegant Gypsy, Year: 1977

Still listening to a great deal of Al Di Meola's music, so I figured I would pick another one of my favourites from his catalogue. This is one of his songs that, as a musician, you either get really inspired or depressed when listening to it. It just oozes with jaw-dropping musicianship from beginning to end.
From what I've found out there was a remake of the song in the late '90s on the Infinite Desire album featuring Steve Vai titled: "Race With Devil on Turkish Highway."

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '78 on YouTube.
Hear Race With Devil on Turkish Highway featuring Steve Vai on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Falco - Titanic

My song pick two years ago today: The Guess Who - Undun

My song pick three years ago today: Lynyrd Skynyrd - The Ballad of Curtis Loew

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Friday, April 29, 2011

1349 Al Di Meola - Alien Chase on Arabian Desert

1349 Al Di Meola - Alien Chase on Arabian Desert
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From: Splendido Hotel, Year: 1980

Been delving back into the work of Al Di Meola the last couple of days. I'm still extremely baffled at how he gets omitted on every list of top guitarists, at least he and his music are known and appreciated by most serious musicians.
Anyway, this is one of my favourite songs in his catalogue; it comes off of his '80 Splendido Hotel album. It is a very technical song in almost every aspect; Al Di Meola's guitar work is as incredible as ever. I absolutely love Tim Landers' awesome bass line, I love how it counters and matches the melody throughout the track. Every aspect of this song is a true Progressive music lover's dream.

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



My song pick a year ago today: Alice Cooper - Go To Hell

My song pick two years ago today: Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond

My song pick three years ago today: The Doors - Riders On The Storm

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

1348 Pink Floyd - San Tropez

1348 Pink Floyd - San Tropez
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From: Meddle, Year: 1971

I hadn't heard this song in ages until yesterday when it came on the radio. This is a very calm track; you really get the feeling of sitting back and relaxing on an exotic beach when this tune is playing.

Hear San Tropez on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Janis Joplin - Mercedes Benz

My song pick two years ago today: Pink Floyd - Pigs On The Wing Parts 1 and 2

My song pick three years ago today: Charlie Parker - Blues For Alice

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

1347 The Four Tops - Reach Out (I'll Be There)

1347 The Four Tops - Reach Out (I'll Be There)
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From: Reach Out, Year: 1967

I've been in a Motown mood most of this morning; here's a track from one of my favourite artists from the label. I absolutely love this song; in my opinion it is one of the best from The Four Tops' catalogue.

Hear Reach Out (I'll Be There) on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Hep Stars - Cadillac

My song pick two years ago today: Hallo Venray - Orange

My song pick three years ago today: Flatt & Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Breakdown

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1346 Rush - By-Tor & the Snow Dog

1346 Rush - By-Tor & the Snow Dog
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From: Fly By Night, Year: 1975

I've had this song running through my mind most of the morning, so I took it as a sign that it should be my pick today. This is one of my favourite tracks off of their Fly By Night album, however this is also an album that I usually play from front to back without skipping a song.
This is the longest and most "epic" track on the album which chronicles a legendary good vs. evil battle between an evil prince named By-Tor and the hero named Snow Dog. For the most part the song is an instrumental; they depict the battle with music. From what I've read about the song Geddy Lee's bass represents By-Tor and his attacks and Alex Lifeson's guitar represents the Snow Dog and his attacks.

Hear By-Tor and the Snow Dog on YouTube.
Here is the medley from the Exit... Stage Left live featuring parts of: "By-Tor & the Snow Dog," "In the End," "In the Mood," and "2112" on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Uriah Heep - Stealin'

My song pick two years ago today: Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

My song pick three years ago today: Ludwig van Beethoven - Fur Elise-WoO59

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Monday, April 25, 2011

1345 Exist†Trace - Requiem

1345 Exist†Trace - Requiem
From: Vanguard -Of the Muses- EP, Year: 2009

I got to see Exist†Trace in concert over the weekend in Seattle at Sakura Con; this was one of many songs they played that I liked. For those who haven't heard about them, Exist†Trace are an all female Japanese Metal band; apparently the concert was their first in the U.S.
It was an excellent show except for a plethora of sound issues early in the set, once they were resolved the show went along quite well. The band is excellent in most every aspect; the lead singer's vocals were especially amazing, she could really belt it out.

Hear the studio version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Meat Loaf - Two out of Three Ain't Bad

My song pick two years ago today: Christian Pezold - Minuet in G Minor (Anna Magdalena Notebook II), BWV Anh. 115

My song pick three years ago today: Raymond Scott - Powerhouse

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

1344 Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) - Welcome Home

1344 Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) - Welcome Home
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From: Bachman-Turner Overdrive II, Year: 1973

Just got back home from a trip to the Sakura-Con Animé convention in Seattle, and no, I'm not going to regale anyone with the old "tired arms" joke. I can, and will, say it's nice not having to deal with the lousy hotel wi-fi internet anymore!
Anyway, ever since I got home I've had this rather awesome and apropos BTO track running through my mind, so here it is. I absolutely love the dynamics with Latin Jazz in the verses and the full signature BTO Hard Rock in the chorus. Randy Bachman's guitar work shines very brightly throughout the song and is especially good in the instrumental sections.

Hear Welcome Home on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Puhdys - Alt Wie Ein Baum

My song pick two years ago today: Christian Pezold - Minuet in G Major (Anna Magdalena Notebook II), BWV Anh. 114

My song pick three years ago today: Berlin - The Metro

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

1341 Muse - Starlight

1341 Muse - Starlight
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From: Black Holes and Revelations, Year: 2006

Felt like listening to a lot of Muse today; this track off of their Black Holes and Revelations album felt like an excellent pick. It's been so nice to see a newer Prog/Space Rock band getting the attention they deserve lately.

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



My song pick a year ago today: Styx - Lorelei

My song pick two years ago today: Three Dog Night - Never Been To Spain

My song pick three years ago today: Concrete Blonde - Joey

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

1340 John Fogerty - Centerfield

1340 John Fogerty - Centerfield
From: Centerfield, Year: 1985

This anthemic baseball song has been running through my mind most of the day; as I normally do, I'm taking it as a sign that I should add it to my list. This has always been one of my favourite songs from John Fogerty's solo career.

Watch the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '07 on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today

My song pick two years ago today: John Denver - Take Me Home, Country Road

My song pick three years ago today: Nirvana - Lithium

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1339 Oomph! featuring Nina Hagen - Fieber

1339 Oomph! featuring Nina Hagen - Feiber
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From: Plastik, Year: 1999

Oomph!'s Plastik album has been getting a lot of play from me this morning and I figured that I would choose one of their songs today as well.
This track features the vocal work of the incomparable Nina Hagen; I've always loved her amazing vocals. She performs an excellent duet in this song with Dero Goi; their vocals compliment each other quite well.

Watch the music video on YouTube.
A live performance circa '02 on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Guess Who - Minstrel Boy

My song pick two years ago today: Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

My song pick three years ago today: Steely Day - Rikki Don't Lose That Number

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

1337 Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra - Alexander's Ragtime Band

1337 Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra - Alexander's Ragtime Band
From: Heart Full Of Rhythm / Volume 2 (1936-38), Year: 1993 (1937)

I've been having this song running through my mind off and on over the last couple of weeks. This song was written a hundred years ago in 1911 by Irving Berlin and, as with most of the music of that time, was covered many times by many artists. Though there are many excellent versions of this song, I'm very partial to Louis Armstrong's version from the mid-1930s.

Hear a 78 rpm vinyl recording of the song on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Tears For Fears - Break It Down Again

My song pick two years ago today: Dream Theater - 6:00
 
My song pick three years ago today: The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

1336 ABBA - Thank You for the Music

1336 ABBA - Thank You for the Music

From: The Album, Year: 1977

Getting in a late pick this evening. I'm not in the mood to even think about any music at this point, so I let my iPod randomly pick a song for me. This rather upbeat track from ABBA's The Album came up and it feels like an excellent choice to wind up my Saturday.

Watch the music video on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Genesis - Home By The Sea

My song pick two years ago today: Alannah Myles - Black Velvet

My song pick three years ago today: Alice Cooper - Poison

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Friday, April 15, 2011

1335 Blue Öyster Cult - Black Blade

1335 Blue Öyster Cult - Black Blade
From: Cultösaurus Erectus, Year: 1980

I've got Blue Öyster Cult on the brain this morning, so here's their song from the Cultösaurus Erectus album that pays homage to Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné novels. This song is, of course, about Stormbringer, the legendary cursed black sword wielded by the stories' main character Elric; the narrative in this song is told from his point of view.
It's quite a neat track; everything you would expect from a BÖC song.

Hear Black Blade on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Rammstein - Waidmanns Heil

My song pick two years ago today: Jethro Tull - Rock Island

My song pick three years ago today: Cheap Trick - Mighty Wings

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

1334 Counting Crows - Mr. Jones

1334 Counting Crows - Mr. Jones
From: August and Everything After, Year: 1993

Been hearing this track a lot lately all over the place; I've always liked it and the band as well, so I'm making it my pick. I thought for sure that I have added one of their songs in the past at some point, but I guess I was wrong; yet another excellent band that I've neglected to add.
Anyway, I can clearly remember when this rather upbeat Alternative Rock song first came out; it made me a fan of the band.

Watch the music video on YouTube.
Hear an acoustic version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '99 on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lookin Out My Back Door

My song pick two years ago today: The Grass Roots - Midnight Confessions

My song pick three years ago today: The Tornadoes - Telstar

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1332 Kristoph Klover - Fire in the Sky

1332 Kristoph Klover - Fire in the Sky
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From: To Touch the Stars: A Musical Celebration of Space Exploration, Year: 2004; Genre: Folk/Space Rock

Today is the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight into space, which was the first time in history that a human ventured into space. I figured I should choose something apropos for my pick today, so here's one off of the To Touch the Stars album that seemed quite fitting.
This is a Folk/Rock song written by Kristoph Klover written about the drive to "reach the stars" and the sojourns man has made into space.

Hear Fire in the Sky on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: David Bowie - The Supermen

My song pick two years ago today: The Rolling Stones - 2000 Light Years From Home
 
My song pick three years ago today: Garbage - Push It

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Monday, April 11, 2011

1331 Rammstein - Keine Lust

1331 Rammstein - Keine Lust
From: Reise, Reise, Year: 2004

I've had this song playing in my mind most of the morning, as usual I took it as a sign that it was time to pick it.
It's quite difficult to not think of the hilarious fat suit music video they made to this song when you hear it play, however it's still an excellent track on it's own. From what I understand this song was essentially written about not wanting the fame and everything that comes with it anymore and just wanting to make music again.

Hear Keine Lust on YouTube.
Watch the music video on YouTube.
Watch a live performance on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin) - Piece Of My Heart

My song pick two years ago today: Nightwish - The Kinslayer

My song pick three years ago today: Boz Scaggs - Lido Shuffle

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

1329 Rush - The Seeker

1329 Rush - The Seeker
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From: Feedback, Year: 2004

Continuing my cover song theme week with my 6th pick: Rush's cover of this classic from The Who. This was one of the songs from their cover album: Feedback released on '04, which consisted of some of the influential songs they listened to when they were younger.
I've always loved this song ever since I first heard it many years ago, and of course, when one of my favourite bands covers a song I like it's always a win-win.

Hear Rush's cover of The Seeker on YouTube.
Watch a live performance of the song by Rush on YouTube.
Hear The Who's original version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Queen - The Show Must Go On

My song pick two years ago today: Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55
 
My song pick three years ago today: Blind Mellon - No Rain

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Friday, April 08, 2011

1328 Queensrÿche - Welcome to the Machine

1328 Queensrÿche - Welcome to the Machine
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From: Take Cover, Year: 2007

This is day five of my cover song theme week; this one comes off of Queensrÿche's '07 cover album Take Cover.
When getting ready to post my pick there were three songs off of this album I was wanting to pick, however in the end I ended up picking the cover of this song of renown from Pink Floyd; Queensrÿche did an excellent job at this cover in every aspect.

Hear Queensrÿche's cover of the song on YouTube.
Watch a fan video with Pink Floyd's original version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Sheena Easton - For Your Eyes Only

My song pick two years ago today: John Denver - Season Suite: Spring

My song pick three years ago today: Duran Duran - Ordinary World

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

1327 Def Leppard - Waterloo Sunset

1327 Def Leppard - Waterloo Sunset
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From: Yeah!, Year: 2006

Day number four of my cover song theme week. As fate would have it again last night I heard this cover of my favourite Kinks song and I immediately knew I had my next pick.
A few years ago, or so it seemed, many established bands started recording obligatory cover albums featuring songs from the bands that influenced them most; Yeah! was Def Leppard's. It was really the first album they've released since Hysteria that I was willing to part with my money for. Don't get me wrong, they've released some good songs since then, but not enough to make me want an entire album.
Anyway, I have to say that they did the song justice, it's nowhere near as good as the original Kinks' version in my opinion, but it is an excellent cover all the same.

Hear Def Leppard's cover of Waterloo Sunset on YouTube.
Hear The Kinks' original version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: John Denver - Spirit

My song pick two years ago today: Sly and the Family Stone - Everyday People

My song pick three years ago today: David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

1326 Ugly Kid Joe - Cat's in the Cradle

1326 Ugly Kid Joe - Cat's in the Cradle
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From: America's Least Wanted, Year: 1992

Day number three of my theme week of picking cover songs. Almost all of the time I have a song running through my mind and as luck would have it Ugly Kid Joe's cover of this rather sentimental Harry Chapin song was running through my mind yesterday; I thought it would make an excellent addition to this theme.
While I like both versions I have to say that I like the cover a little better at times. It is probably because Ugly Kid Joe's version came out in my formative teenage years and is tied to that time and thus I'm biased; heck, I fully admit it. I really like the edge they added to the song and how at the same time were able to keep the spirit of the original intact.

Hear Ugly Kid Joe's cover on YouTube.
Watch the music video on YouTube.
Hear Harry Chapin's original on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Steeleye Span - Sails of Silver

My song pick two years ago today: Duran Duran - Electric Barbarella

My song pick three years ago today: Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

1325 Northern Kings - Don't Stop Believin'

1325 Northern Kings - Don't Stop Believin'
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From: Reborn, Year: 2007

'Tis day two of my cover song theme week; this is a cover of Journey's anthemic hit song by the Finnish Symphonic Metal group Northern Kings. Being that Northern Kings is a cover band/side project for four Finnish Metal musicians there were quite a few songs to choose from, but for no reason other than I like it I picked it.
As you would expect, this song has the big Symphonic Metal sound to it and it has a rather nice galloping rhythm as well. Marco Hietala's vocals are one of the best aspects of the song in my opinion.

Hear the Northern Kings' version of the song on YouTube.
Hear Journey's original version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: King Crimson - Thela Hun Ginjeet

My song pick two years ago today: Jaco Pastorius - Slang

My song pick three years ago today: Falco - Der Kommissar

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Monday, April 04, 2011

1324 Savatage - Day After Day

1324 Savatage - Day After Day
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From: Fight for the Rock, Year: 1986

Starting another theme week; the theme? Cover songs performed by famous bands. This song was originally written by Pete Ham and recorded by his band Badfinger.
This is one of the few bright spots on a rather unremarkable album; Fight for the Rock itself was really the result of Savatage's recording label leaning on the band to make an album they didn't want in the first place. When you look at the pure caliber and awesomeness of the preceding album: (Power of the Night) and the album that succeeded it: (Hall of the Mountain King), Fight for the Rock just cannot even compare. It's kind of telling when one of the best tracks from a Metal album is a cover of a '70s Pop/Rock song.
I actually like their cover of this song quite a bit; I only wish that they would have added more of Criss Oliva's guitar to the mix and perhaps a longer and different guitar solo, but for some reason he more or less used the same one that was in the original; quite a shame.

Hear Savatage's cover of Day After Day on YouTube.
Hear Badfinger's original version on YouTube.


My song pick a year ago today: ? and the Mysterians - 96 Tears

My song pick two years ago today: Pink Floyd - Goodbye Blue Sky

My song pick three years ago today: The Bee Gees - New York Mining Disaster 1941

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

1323 Queen - Good Company

1323 Queen - Good Company
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From: A Night at the Opera, Year: 1975

This rather light-hearted Queen song felt like a nice pick for this lazy Sunday. I've always loved this New Orleans Jazz influenced track, it's one of my favourites off of this hit-laden album.
I especially like how Brian May used different techniques and multi-tracking with his electric guitar to simulate a full-on Jazz band as well as his use of his vintage ukelele banjo in the song to give it an oldtimey feel.

Hear Good Company on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Wolfsheim - Über's Jahr

My song pick two years ago today: Alice in Chains - Man In The Box

My song pick three years ago today: INXS - Disappear

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

1322 Jethro Tull - With You There To Help Me

1322 Jethro Tull - With You There To Help Me
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From: Benefit, Year: 1970

I've had this song running through my mind off and on over the last week or so and it feels like a good time to pick it, so I am. Most view Benefit as one of their darkest albums and is also one of their less popular, but for me personally it is one of my top 5 albums from the band. From what I understand, the songs from Benefit were conceived and written on the road when the band was getting its first taste of international success and feeling the pressures therefrom, which influenced much of the album's subject matter.
This is the opening track off the album and is quite bluesy and raucous. It features some strange recording techniques such as what they did with Ian's flute; the flute was recorded then played backwards with the song to give it really odd quality to his sound.

Hear With You There To Help Me on YouTube.
Here is a live performance of the song.



My song pick a year ago today: Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra - Things to Come

My song pick two years ago today: Simon & Garfunkel - Hazy Shade of Winter

My song pick three years ago today: Lita Ford feat. Ozzy Osbourne - Close My Eyes Forever

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Friday, April 01, 2011

1321 Larry Graham & Graham Central Station - Can You Handle It?

1321 Larry Graham & Graham Central Station - Can You Handle It?
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From: Graham Central Station, Year: 1973

While I know there are songs out there with a more fitting titles for an April Fools' Day pick, I found this one more to my liking today. However, the opening line does, in fact, make this song fitting for today: "Yes ya made a fool, out of me, girl?"
Anyway, I love the dynamics in this song; in the verse it has a Soul/Pop feel then goes into full on Larry Graham styled Funk in the chorus.

Hear Can You Handle It on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Led Zeppelin - Fool in the Rain

My song pick two years ago today: Styx - Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

My song pick three years ago today: The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again

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