Monday, December 31, 2012

1973 Mahavishnu Orchestra - One Word

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From: Birds of Fire; Year: 1973; Genre: Jazz Fusion/Funk
Here's my nineteen-hundredth-and-seventy-third song picked, and as I've been doing as of late, this one from John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra was released in the year that coincides with today's pick number: 1973.
There were a couple of other songs I was wanting to pick off this album, but I couldn't find them on YouTube, so I finally ended up picking this 10-minute funky jazz fusion instrumental. Not a bad song at all, actually on the contrary it's an excellent piece of music, it's just probably not appreciated as much by those who like a more mainstream sound.
All and all an excellent song to close out 2012 with!

Hear One Word on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Alan Parsons Project - The Raven

My song pick two years ago today: Béla Fleck and the Flecktones - The Sinister Minister

My song pick three years ago today: Rammstein - Reise, Reise

My song pick four years ago today: Billy Joel - New York State Of Mind

My song pick five years ago today: Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)


Sunday, December 30, 2012

1972 Paul Simon - Mother and Child Reunion

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From: Paul Simon; Year: 1972; Genre: Pop/Rock/Reggae
I'm continuing my theme of picking songs that were released the year that coincides with my song pick number. Well, today's pick number happens to be 1972, which was also the year Paul Simon released his first solo record sans Art Garfunkel and happened to contain this song.
For some reason I've always loved this song, I don't know if it's the reggae influenced music, the songwriting, the sentimental lyrics, or a combination thereof, but I've always liked it.

Hear Mother and Child Reunion on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Maurice Ravel - M.81 - Boléro

My song pick two years ago today: Megaherz - Schizophren

My song pick three years ago today: Genesis - Turn It On Again

My song pick four years ago today: Miles Davis - Walkin'

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - Cold Wind To Valhalla


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

1970 The Flying Burrito Brothers - Wild Horses

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From: Burrito Deluxe; Year: 1970; Genre: Rock/Country
I was taken aback by the amount of excellent music to be released in 1970, (today's song pick number), and had a horrid time narrowing it down to the one I would pick.
The main reason I picked this one is because I've been wanting to pick one from The Flying Burrito Brothers for a while now and this is also a cover of one of my favourite songs from The Rolling Stones. In actuality this was the first version of the song ever recorded; it was about a year later The 'Stones released theirs. 

Hear the studio version on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Steve Miller Band - My Dark Hour

My song pick two years ago today: Fear Factory - Fear Campaign

My song pick three years ago today: Gunnar Madsen - Surprise!

My song pick four years ago today: Charles Mingus - Tonight At Noon

My song pick five years ago today: Megadeth - Architecture of Aggression


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1965 The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man

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From: Mr. Tambourine Man; Year: 1965; Genre: Folk Rock
There were a great deal of songs released in 1965, (today's song pick number), that I thought about choosing. When I noticed that The Byrds' famous cover of this Bob Dylan track was released that year and that I hadn't picked it yet I knew I had my song for today.
I've always loved this ever since I first heard it; it's one of my favourites from The Byrds. Interestingly enough, other than the vocals and Roger McGuinn's 12-string guitar the studio version of this song was actually performed by studio musicians.

Hear Mr. Tambourine Man on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Siberian Sleigh Ride

My song pick two years ago today: Twisted Sister - Oh Come All Ye Faithful

My song pick three years ago today: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Joy/Angels We Have Heard on High

My song pick four years ago today: The Kinks - Father Christmas

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick


Saturday, December 22, 2012

1964 The Honeycombs - Have I the Right?

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From: Have I the Right (Single); Year: 1964; Genre: Pop
There were quite a few songs that I like from the year 1964 and was thinking about making my 1964th song picked. However, I happened to remember this song, which was the last hit produced by legendary eccentric producer and inventor Joe Meek.
I have always been a fan of his unorthodox ways of getting the "perfect" sound, be it pounding a microphone on a floor wrapped in a blanket and tape to make the "perfect" bass drum sound or recording his toilet flushing to mimic the sound of a rocket launch. On this one the prominent unique sounding "drums" were enhanced actually by five microphones fastened to a staircase whilst the members of the band stamped their feet on it as well as a tambourine being beat into a microphone for further enhancement.
Sadly, Joe Meek would never produce any more hits on this or the scale of any of his previous recordings and would end up taking his life three years later.

Hear Have I the Right? on YouTube.
Watch a synced television performance on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Christmas All Over Again

My song pick two years ago today: Rush - Tears

My song pick three years ago today: Sylvia - Drifter

My song pick four years ago today: Cheech & Chong - Santa Claus and His Old Lady

My song pick five years ago today: Supertramp - The Logical Song


Friday, December 21, 2012

1963 The Beatles - Please Please Me

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From: Please Please Me; Year: 1963; Genre: Pop/Rock 'n Roll
In 1963, which is also today's song pick number The Beatles released their first full-length studio album: Please Please Me. Interestingly enough, other than the two already-released singles, (this song was one of them), the entire album was recorded in one day. While I'm more of a fan of their later work, it's still good to listen to their earlier work, when the band was blossoming; knowing where they phenomenal career would go.

Hear Please Please Me on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: John Denver - Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)

My song pick two years ago today: Mykola Leontovych - Shchedryk (The Carol of the Bells)

My song pick three years ago today: Steeleye Span - Edwin

My song pick four years ago today: Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Savatage - Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - Ring Out Solstice Bells


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1961 Ben E. King - Stand By Me

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From: Don't Play That Song!; Year: 1961; Genre: R&B/Soul
I'm continuing to pick songs from the year that is the same as my song pick number. This song, which is probably Ben E. King's biggest hit, was also one of the bigger hits in the year 1961. I actually thought for sure that I'd already picked it, but I guess I was wrong. Outside of the powerful lyrics and their excellent delivery the utter simplicity of this song construction led by that simple bass line is probably it's greatest attribute by far.

Hear Stand By Me on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Jethro Tull - Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow

My song pick two years ago today: Nightwish - Wishmaster

My song pick three years ago today: The Violent Femmes - Color Me Once

My song pick four years ago today: The Who - Eminence Front

My song pick five years ago today: John Fogerty - Almost Saturday Night


Monday, December 17, 2012

1959 Miles Davis - Green in Blue

From: Kind of Blue; Year: 1959; Genre: Modal Jazz
With today's pick number I had a quandary; there's a lot of good music released in the year 1959; (suffice it to say I have a lot of future picks of songs from that year). However, I then remembered that '59 was the year Miles Davis recorded and released arguably one of, if not the most influential jazz album of all time: Kind of Blue. While I've heard many, many artists citing this album as one of their main inspirations and had it described as, and I'm paraphrasing here, like The Bible: every house seems to have a copy of it, Miles Davis himself seemed to not be as enthusiastic about it looking back on it. Perhaps that's the way that pioneers on the cutting edge of even the definition of music itself look at their past work; they're always looking for what's new. In my opinion, no matter what you think of his personality, you have to admit the man had more talent and originality in his fingernails than most artists have in their bodies throughout their entire careers.

Hear Green in Blue on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Tarot - Midwinter Nights

My song pick two years ago today: Henry Mancini - A Shot in the Dark

My song pick three years ago today: Finntroll - Jaktens Tid

My song pick four years ago today: Band of Horses - St. Augustine

My song pick five years ago today: Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band


Friday, December 14, 2012

1956 Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel

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From: Heartbreak Hotel (Single); Year: 1956; Genre: Rock 'n Rock/Blues
Suffice it to say that probably from this point until I reach song pick 2013 I'll probably continue picking songs that were released on the date that coincides with my song pick number, unless of course I get bored or for a myriad of other reasons.
Anyway, in 1956, which is today's pick number Elvis Presley, The King, had quite a few hit singles, of course this was one of the major ones. Heartbreak Hotel is quite an influential and famous song, even today; many a musician since has pointed to this song as being of major influence.

Hear Heartbreak Hotel on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Rare Earth - I Just Want to Celebrate

My song pick two years ago today: Top Gear Band - Red Light Spells Danger

My song pick three years ago today: Azteca - Love is a Stranger

My song pick four years ago today: Danzig - Mother

My song pick five years ago today: Savatage - Gutter Ballet


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1954 Soundgarden - Non-State Actor

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From: King Animal; Year: 2012; Genre: Alternative Metal
I'm having yet another busy day, so I'm having to make another pick rather quick and brief, which sucks because I do like this song. I figured I would pick another one from Soundgarden's new album; it was really the first track that caught my attention and became one of my favourites; let's just say that it's awesome in many ways.

Hear Non-State Actor on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: The Mushroom Tabernacle Choir - 12 Drugs of Christmas

My song pick two years ago today: David Bowie - Ashes to Ashes

My song pick three years ago today: Ian Anderson - In the Moneylender's Temple

My song pick four years ago today: Dobie Grey - Drift Away

My song pick five years ago today: Lobo - Gypsy and the Midnight Ghost


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1953 Soundgarden - Taree

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From: King Animal; Year: 2012; Genre: Alternative Metal/Grunge
I'm having an extremely busy day, so I'm having to be a bit brief with today's pick.
Anyway, this is one of my favourites from Soundgarden's just-released album King Animal; I love how they were able to keep their classic sound, but still have an infusion of new sound at the same time.

Hear Taree on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Lighthouse - Pretty Lady

My song pick two years ago today: Ugly Kid Joe - Mr. Recordman

My song pick three years ago today: Chet Atkins & Jerry Reed - Something

My song pick four years ago today: Buddy Holly & the Crickets - Well... All Right

My song pick five years ago today: Fleetwood Mac - Dreams


Sunday, December 09, 2012

1951 Les Paul & Mary Ford - How High the Moon

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From: The Very Best of Les Paul & Mary Ford; Year: 1998 (1951); Genre: Pop/Rock 'N Roll/ Jazz
I'm making another pick where the date a song was released/recorded and my song pick number match. Les Paul & Mary Ford's cover of the often recorded song from the '40s Broadway musical Two for the Show was a pretty big hit in the year 1951, which is also today's pick. As always, Mary Ford's vocals and  Les Paul's guitar played are brilliant as ever.
While today it might seem normal, but back then Les Paul was a pioneer in musical recording; he was among the first to employ overdubbing and multitracking on his recordings, which set his sound apart. It's interesting when you think about it: the techniques he used essentially set the path as to where studio recordings would progress ever since.

Hear How High the Moon on YouTube.
Watch a video clip with the song on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) - Rain is Falling

My song pick two years ago today: Rush - Red Lenses

My song pick three years ago today: The Kinks - A Rock & Roll Fantasy

My song pick four years ago today: Quincy Jones - Soul Bossa Nova

My song pick five years ago today: Jethro Tull - My Sunday Feeling


Saturday, December 08, 2012

1950 Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie - Bloomdido

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From: Bird and Diz; Year: 1950; Genre: Bebop/Jazz
This song and album were recorded and released in the year 1950, which is also today's song pick number; not that I needed an excuse to pick a song from two of my favourite jazz musicians. Bloomdido as well as the other tracks on the record are some excellent examples of Bebop at its height from two of the masters of the sub-genre.
Anyway, with most of these jazz albums from the 1950s I love reading who else played on them. This one in particular, besides Bird and Diz, they also had legendary drummers Buddy Rich and Max Roach, as well as Thelonious Monk on piano to name a few.

Hear Bloomdido on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Molly Hatchet - One Man's Pleasure

My song pick two years ago today: Hawkwind - High Rise

My song pick three years ago today: Joachim Witt - Bataillon 'd Amour

My song pick four years ago today: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Ohio

My song pick five years ago today: Donovan - Sunshine Superman


Thursday, December 06, 2012

1948 The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Three to Get Ready

From: Time Out; Year: 1959; Genre: Cool Jazz
Yesterday I found out that legendary jazz great and bandleader Dave Brubeck passed away at the age of 91, a write up can be found here on BBC.com. While I'm not really a fan of the jazz sub-genre that is "cool jazz" I absolutely love Dave Brubeck's work in it; him and his quartet were simply amazing.
Anyway, this song, of course, comes off his landmark Time Out album, and as with all of the other material on it, it features odd time signatures. Three to Get Ready bounces back and forth between a waltz 3/4 and a straight-up 4/4. When they are playing in the 3/4 waltz time it almost sounds like classical music and goes into the syncopated jazz feel in the 4/4.

Hear Three to Get Ready on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Rammstein - Rammstein

My song pick two years ago today: The Steve Miller Band - You Send Me

My song pick three years ago today: Frijid Pink - House of the Rising Sun

My song pick four years ago today: Jaco Pastorius - Portrait of Tracy

My song pick five years ago today: Rush - Time Stand Still


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

1947 Rush - Red Sector A

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From: Grace Under Pressure; Year: 1984; Genre: Hard Rock
Yesterday I happened to have this song play on my iPod; even though I'm a big fan of their music I hadn't heard it for a spell and it brought it back to my attention. Out of a lot of their music this, in my opinion, is one of their most powerful songs, at least subject matter wise; almost every time I hear this song it gives me a bit of a chill. Musically, this one is very much like its siblings from their mid '80s synth-driven materiel.
Now, when I first heard it the lyrics painted a rather gloomy and depressing picture and I really didn't really think that much of it at the time because more than a few of their songs, many of which are also on this album, have similar subject matter. However, I was curious and later found out that it was actually inspired by the horrific experience by both of Geddy Lee's parents had in the concentration camps during The Holocaust. Apparently Neil Peart heard about their stories and the stories of other survivors and wrote the song from their hopeless perspective and how they thought humanity and civilization had crumbled. From what I understand most of the songs were on a similar theme on purpose to thematically fit the title of the album: Grace Under Pressure.
Anyway, it is interesting to have such a personal song from a band whose members are usually very private; I often wonder if Geddy Lee ever had problems singing lyrics that hit so close to home.

Hear Red Sector A on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Muse - Exogenesis: Symphony Parts 1,2, and 3

My song pick two years ago today: Hawkwind - Spirit of the Age

My song pick three years ago today: Stuart Hamm - Flow My Tears

My song pick four years ago today: Nightwish - I Wish I Had An Angel

My song pick five years ago today: Stevie Ray Vaughan - Pride and Joy


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

1946 Fred Astaire - Puttin' on the Ritz

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From: Top Hat/Blue Skies Original Soundtracks; Year: 2004 (1946); Genre: Pop/Musical/Jazz
I'm again making another pick where a date concerning a song and the song pick number match.
Irving Berlin composed this song for over a decade and a half prior to this recording as part of the music in the film of the song's namesake; it was re-recorded and covered a few times as well before this rather famous version for another film was recorded. The earlier versions of the song had different lyrics; it was re-written by Irving Berlin to fit the new musical film: Blue Skies. Today most probably would recognize versions with the newer lyrics mostly because the original lyrical content was less racially sensitive.
This is one of those songs that has never really gone away; it has been covered countless times, even in recent years. The unique and rather catchy, offbeat syncopated singing, especially in verses, is probably one of the main reasons this song has remained so popular over the years.
One of the more famous covers that would be remembered by those who grew up in more recent decades would be the one by Taco back in '82, which can be found here on YouTube. Interestingly enough, you listen closely you can hear some other parts from a few other Irving Berlin songs within Taco's cover version.
Out of all of the recording and re-recordings Fred Astaire's is my personal favourite, especially when you add in his famous dance routine from the film.

Here is the full song and dance routine from Blue Skies with the song on YouTube.
Hear a version with the original lyrics on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Puhdys - Wenn Traume Sterben

My song pick two years ago today: Jim Reeves - It's Nothin' to Me

My song pick three years ago today: Rush - Twilight Zone

My song pick four years ago today: The Firm - Radioactive

My song pick five years ago today: Ozzy Osbourne - Shot in the Dark


Sunday, December 02, 2012

1944 The Ink Spots with Ella Fitzgerald - I'm Making Believe

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From: The Classic Years; Year: 2010 (1944); Genre: Jazz
Here's another one where the date of the song's recording happens to also be the number to today's pick: 1944.
I'm almost 2000 songs in and there are too many artists than I can count that haven't made my list yet; I've been meaning to pick one from this rather influential vocal group for a bit now and finally I have. Even though their place in musical history has been secured for many years, recently they have gained more popularity through their material being used as period music in a few popular video games: the Bioshock and Fallout series.
Anyway, this is quite a pretty love song; with the addition of Ella Fitzgerald's beautiful and amazing vocals it makes it all that much more of an amazing track.

Hear I'm Making Believe on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Blue Öyster Cult - Vengeance (The Pact)

My song pick two years ago today: Hawkwind - Sleep of a Thousand Tears

My song pick three years ago today: The Who - Squeeze Box

My song pick four years ago today: Steely Dan - FM (No Static At All)

My song pick five years ago today: The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night


Saturday, December 01, 2012

1943 The Kinks - Dead End Street

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From: Dead End Street/Big Black Smoke (single); Year: 1966; Genre: Rock
Well, one more month and after today there's only 30 songs now left to pick this year; wow where does the time go?
Anyway, I had no song in mind to choose today, but for some reason I felt like listening to something from The Kinks, who are probably my favourite band from The British Invation.
In this single release circa 1966 Ray Davies again uses his awesome lyric writing talent to paint an amazing picture, in this one it's a bleak picture of hopeless poverty.
The music throughout most of the song does just as much to dampen the mood especially with the addition of that lone trombone, which adds an even more sorrowful sound to the track. It's interesting how the last few bars in the chorus break the overall depressive mood just to plunge you back into it with the next verse.

Hear Dead End Street on YouTube.
Watch the music video clip on YouTube.



My song pick a year ago today: Megaherz - Kopfschuss

My song pick two years ago today: Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper

My song pick three years ago today: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Refugee

My song pick four years ago today: Yes - Your Move/All Good People

My song pick five years ago today: King Harvest - Dancing in the Moonlight