Sunday, October 30, 2016

3391. Jethro Tull - Lap of Luxury

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From: Under Wraps; Year: 1984; Genre: Synthpop/Electronic Rock
Jethro Tull was in town last night and I got to see them again; it was excellent. I haven't gotten to see a lot of concerts in recent years, so it was definitely a treat. I thought I would wrap up my early 80s pop/rock theme week with one of their songs.
This is one of the most "un-'Tull" songs and albums in their catalogue, and whilst it's definitely not one that a lot of fans of the band like, (quite a few revile this very "synthpoppy" album), on its own merit it's an okay album and definitely has its gems. If you've heard any songs off this album, a good chance it was Lap of Luxury; if you like keyboard synth and blazing lead guitars this one is right up your alley.

Hear Lap of Luxury on YouTube.



My song pick one year ago today: Victor Wooten - You Can't Hold No Groove If Ya Ain't Got No Pocket

My song pick two year ago today: The Spooks - The Spook Walks

My song pick three years ago today: Midnight Oil - Drums of Heaven

My song pick four years ago today: Irving Berlin - Alexander's Ragtime Band
 
My song pick five years ago today: Queensrÿche - Della Brown

My song pick six years ago today: Van Halen - Unchained

My song pick seven years ago today: Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns and Money

My song pick eight years ago today: Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes

My song pick nine years ago today: Johann Sebastian Bach - BWV 565 - Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor 


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

3387. Ultravox - Dancing with Tears in My Eyes

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From: Lament; Year: 1984; Genre: Synthpop/New Wave
Got another '80s tune on my mind, as it seems, so whatever.
Anyway, while always a song I've liked quite a bit, I thought of it as a brooding "lost love" song with some excellent music that has some broad appeal. It wasn't that long ago I started listening to the lyrics very close and to my surprise discovered how heavy it actually was. One of those songs that tapped into the Cold War feeling of impending doom and living out the last few minutes of your life. Although it doesn't in the song give an actual name as to what the "storm" that's approaching is, but in the video it was depicted as a nuclear meltdown. Though I cannot help but think, as a child who grew up in the 1980s being told by public service announcements about nuclear war to duck under something if you heard the air raid siren, that it was a song about "the button" being pushed and the world as we know it coming to an end.
I can give Midge Ure and Ultravox this: they sure packaged a dark song in an excellent, upbeat package.

Hear Dancing with Tears in My Eyes on YouTube.



My song pick one year ago today: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band - Against the Wind

My song pick two years ago today: AC/DC - T.N.T.

My song pick three years ago today: "Weird Al" Yankovic - Your Horoscope for Today

My song pick four years ago today: Sly and the Family Stone - Stand!

My song pick five years ago today: Sethian - Purity in Sorrow

My song pick six years ago today: Sethian - Nothing Is True

My song pick seven years ago today: Steely Dan - Charlie Freak

My song pick eight years ago today: Van Halen - Summer Nights

My song pick nine years ago today: Apocalyptica (featuring Nina Hagen) - Seemann


Saturday, October 15, 2016

3376. Matthews' Southern Comfort - Woodstock

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From: Later That Same Year; Year: 1970; Folk Rock/Jazz Rock
I heard this version of the classic counter-culture anthem, written by Joni Mitchell and really made famous by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, for the first time the other day; I have to say I really like it. This one was released the same year as the other two and made it to number one on the British charts. Apparently Iain Matthews and the band were not intending on covering it, but had to get a fourth song for a broadcast and threw it together; everybody liked their live version of it, so they recorded it and the rest is history.
To me this interpretation is somewhere in between the Joni Mitchell original and the CSNY version. More smooth and jazzy; reminds me a lot of a folky Steely Dan. I love the guitars throughout and especially Gordon Huntley's steel guitar; it adds so much.

Hear Woodstock on YouTube.



My song pick one year ago today: King Crimson - Lament

My song pick two years ago today: Steve Vai - The Boy From Seattle

My song pick three years ago today: Jethro Tull - Bourée

My song pick four years ago today: Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra

My song pick five years ago today: 30 Seconds to Mars - Year Zero

My song pick six years ago today: Don Williams - If Hollywood Don't Need You

My song pick seven years ago today: Cream - Strange Brew

My song pick eight years ago today: A-ha - The Living Daylights

My song pick nine years ago today: Procol Harum - Conquistador 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

3372. Gene Pitney - (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance

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From: Gene Pitney Sings World Wide Winners; Year: 1963 (1962); Genre: Pop/Country Western

I don't know why, but for most of yesterday evening I had this rather story-driven classic track on my mind. Even though it comes a bit from the commercial side of music there's always been something special about it. Interestingly enough, the song has no apparent connection to the John Wayne/Jimmie Stewart film from the same time, which shared the title. I'm not sure why it was not used for the film, but from what I understand it was intended to be used in the film and some weird dispute happened and the rest is history. But, if nothing else you get condensed version of the film in a very descriptive song, so a bonus I guess. For me personally though, it's the music, especially the oriental sounding violin that's a big draw.

Hear (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance on YouTube.



My song pick one year ago today: Genesis - A Trick of the Tail

My song pick two years ago today: Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge over Troubled Water

My song pick three years ago today: Parliament - Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)

My song pick four years ago today: Pallas - For the Greater Glory

My song pick five years ago today: Steely Dan - Peg

My song pick six years ago today: What Made Milwaukee Famous - Selling Yourself Short

My song pick seven years ago today: Jethro Tull - Left Right

My song pick eight years ago today: Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes

My song pick nine years ago today: Eisbrecher - Ohne Dich


Sunday, October 09, 2016

3370. Canned Heat - Going Up the Country

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From: Living the Blues; Year: 1968; Genre: Blues Rock
This is another one of those bands I haven't revisited in some time, but for this one I have not picked one from in nine years. So, borrowing an idea from an old theme week I did quite a while ago, I guess I could call this one a "...and about 3400 days later..." pick. I really should do another one of those theme weeks, I haven't done a theme week in a whilst instead focusing on keeping my string of consecutive Funky Fridays going.
Anyway, this is without a doubt the second big hit from Canned Heat with only a few other songs of renown. It was actually based on Henry Thomas' Bull Doze Blues; borrowing the melody you hear on the flute amongst other aspects of the song. It has a bit of an aged sound, but the blues aspects make it much more timeless and unique.

Hear Going Up the Country on YouTube.



My song pick one year ago today: Jaco Pastorius - Soul Intro/The Chicken

My song pick two years ago today: Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells, Part One

My song pick three years ago today: Mr. Big - Nobody Left To Blame

My song pick four years ago today: Savatage - Somewhere in Time

My song pick five years ago today: Rammstein - Links 2-3-4

My song pick six years ago today: Rammstein - Donaukinder

My song pick seven years ago today: U2 - Pride (In the Name of Love)

My song pick eight years ago today: The Charlie Daniels Band - Uneasy Rider

My song pick nine years ago today: Megadeth - Psychotron


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Saturday, October 01, 2016

3361/62. Dream Theater - Descent of the NOMACs/Dystopian Overture

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From: The Astonishing; Year: 2016; Genre: Progressive Metal
I know it's nine months late since it was released, but I've finally got around to listening to Dream Theater's new album; I have to say, I like wot I hear. The album is 2 CDs and 24 songs in length, but The Astonishing part, (pun intended), is that the majority of the songs are under 5 minutes in length and only a single on is over 7 minutes.
As you probably could guess, The Astonishing is a rock opera set in a future bereft of music in a totalitarian state and the struggle to bring freedom and music back, of course. In that way thematically it's of course very similar to concept albums like Styx's Kilroy Was Here, the unreleased The Who concept Lifehouse, and Rush's 2112, which is of course one of Dream Theater's main influences. Whilst having a similar theme that's been used a lot, they keep it very original both in the narrative of the general epic and of course there's no other band that could sound like this except Dream Theater. Yes, I'll have to say this is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.
Anyway, this is the intro/overture to the entire piece; it seemed like a great first pick from it.

Hear Descent of the NOMACs on YouTube.
Hear Dystopian Overture on YouTube.



My song pick one year ago today: Vince Guaraldi Trio - Cast Your Fate to the Wind

My song pick two years ago today: Judas Priest - Living After Midnight

My song pick three years ago today: Heart - Barracuda

My song pick four years ago today: The Alan Parson's Project - Breakdown

My song pick five years ago today: Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive

My song pick six years ago today: Earth, Wind & Fire - Lets Groove

My song pick seven years ago today: Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd - Samba Triste

My song pick eight years ago today: The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary

My song pick nine years ago today - April Wine - Roller