Archive for Music - page 8

Music Friday – Mellow Prog Edition

Music Friday – Mellow Prog Edition

My guests for this Mellow Prog Edition of Music Friday are The Moody Blues, a band that was one of the early adopters of an electronic instrument call the Mellotron – I kid you not.  The Mellotron was a predecessor to the Moog Synthesizer popularized mainly by Emerson Lake and Palmer, but others too.  The Moody Blues were…oh come on.  You must know the Moody Blues?  Knights in White Satin, Ride My See-Saw?  I can understand if you’ve never heard of King Crimson, but everybody knows The Moody Blues.  They were possibly the most commercially successful of the prog rockers I think because many of their songs were short enough for radio airplay.  Just a guess -I mean the music was (is) good.  They are also one of the prog rock bands with almost no churn in the  lineup – it has remained nearly constant from their beginning, the only real turnover being at the keyboard postion.  Probably because of the Mellotron.  Just kidding!

I’ve chosen three songs for today.  The first one you may recognize since it reached #24 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1972.  Interestingly, it took four years to get there, since it was originally released in 1968!  Go Figure.  The song?  Tuesday Afternoon.  This a video of a live performance shot By the BBC in 1970.  Enjoy:

Next up is a beautiful song called Eyes of a Child.  It’s a lovely song – the lyrics are very touching.  See if you don’t tear up.  Guys too.

OK, last one.  The Moodies were know for lyrics that were either about peace & love or environmental themes.  A lot of guys couldn’t hang because it was considered too emotional.  I didn’t bother me, because I am secretly a heart ruled person.  Oops – guess the secret’s out.  No matter.  This song asks a question that we all ask ourselves at one time or another – How is it We Are Here?

How is it we are here indeed.  OK, that’s all the music for today.  I hope you enjoyed it!  Use the comments!

 

 

Music Friday – Prog History Edition

Music Friday – Prog History Edition

For some of you this may be “Progressive Music 101”, but please stick around.  I think you will be intrigued by what you hear.

I have talked about my music listening habits, starting with exposure to my older sibling’s music, and the AM radio Top 40 formats of my youth.  As I grew into my teen years the FM radio “album” or “free form” formats” gained popularity.  This was a quantum leap in terms of the kinds of music I had access to – artists and songs that were not Top 40 chart material, or limited to the two and a half minute limit for AM radio play.  FM radio is where I first heard so-called “alternative” or “progressive” rock music, such as YES, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Pink Floyd to name a few.  This music was far from the typical popular music formula of the day, the songs were less songs and more extended musical “suites”, with fantasy themed or  philosphical lyrics and 10,20 minutes or more in length.  Today’s song is one of the seminal progressive rock song by the band whose name is synonymous with the genre.  Any guesses?  If you’re not a progger then you have no idea.

The band is King Crimson and the song is “In The Court Of The Crimson King”.  Oddly enough, it was released as a single and reached #80 on the US charts in 1969.  Give a listen:

Very interesting and slightly unsettling, no?  The music of this era fostered many a discussion over the songs’ meanings, and as you may imagine many a discussion was had about this song.  Class Dismissed.

Music Friday – Star Spangled Banner Edition

Music Friday – Star Spangled Banner Edition

It’s only fitting to celebrate Independence Day with our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.   I present to you three versions, one traditionally performed and two…well, let’s say non-traditional but stirring nonetheless.

First up is – traditional; the US Army Field Band and Chorus:

The next rendition is a performance many find memorable – Whitney Houston’s 1991 performance at Super Bowl XXV.  Whatever you want to say about Whitney Houston, God Bless her for giving us this:

Finally, I suppose the most non-traditional, a flashmob.  Well, not exactly.  During the Kentucky All-State Choir Conference, all the attendees come out to the (huge) hotel lobby each night to sign the anthem:

Let Freedom Ring!

Music Friday – Independence Day Edition

Music Friday – Independence Day Edition

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than do it with marches by John Phillip Sousa, the American March King.  I’ll not wade into obscure waters today, but bring you three of Sousa’s best known marches performed by the United States Marine Band, apropos since Sousa was the director of the Marine Band for 12 years.

First up – the obvious choice, “Stars and Stripes Forever” :

Next up – “The Liberty Bell”:

Finally, with props to the US Marines, the official march of the Corps, “Semper Fidelis”:

 

Happy Independence Day, America!

Music Friday Epilogue

Music Friday Epilogue

One final one hit wonder for you…because I can:

 

 

Music Friday – One Hit Wonders Edition

Music Friday – One Hit Wonders Edition

Today let me walk you down memory lane for a little one hit wonder action – 1970’s style, baby!  I have often referenced the AM Radio Top 40 format in my past music posts, and so these songs are songs that made the charts and therfore received play time on AM radio in the 70’s.  Now, just because these songs were on the charts doesn’t mean they were good.  I’m conviced that a couple of these made the charts simply because they sounded very much like popular bands of the day.  Everybody in?  Seatbelts on?  Please keep your hand and feet inside the vehicle…here we go.

OK, just so I don’t piss you off immediately, the first song is actually a good song, and you may still hear it on the radio if you listen to a classic rock station.  It is What You Won’t do For Love by  early “Blue Eyed Soul” artist Bobby Caldwell.

That is one Mellow Groove.  Next up is an American group called “The Ides of March”.  They must have been Shakespeare fans (they were).  Anyhoo…this song is titled simply Vehicle.  You may recognize it – you also may recognize that it sounds very much like “Blood Sweat and Tears” who were very a popular band at this time with several hit records of their own.  It’s possible that was the formula – pick a popular band and imitate their sound as closely as possible.  Here’s Vehicle:

Not bad…and yep.  A lot like Blood Sweat and Tears.  OK, I saved the worst for last.  I’m not kidding.  I can’t exactly tell you not to listen to this song since I’m the one who posted it, but you probably won’t make it all the way through, I’ll bet.  I’m pretty sure these guys were trying to cash in on sounding very much like the Bee Gees – the band is Tin Tin and the song is Toast and Marmalade for Tea

That is horrible.  I don’t know how it charted.  I had initially thought of doing this entire post with bad songs like that.  God knows there were plenty of them!  Now I’m glad I didn’t.  Please forgive me for that one.  But if you can remember any stinkers and wish to relive the trauma, leave them in the comments and maybe I’ll treat..I mean punish everyone with them in a future post.

Boys and Girls, please remain in the car until it comes to a complete stop….and thank you for visiting!  Please come again and have a great day!

 

 

Thursday Night Music Friday Prevue

Thursday Night Music Friday Prevue

Because I felt like sayin’ a little prayer

 

These three things I pray…Amen

Music Friday – prequel edition

Music Friday – prequel edition

My second Music Friday post is related to the first in that it is somewhat of a prequel to my Happy Birthday Paul McCartney post directly below this one.  This post features a Paul McCartney song from the Beatles final album, the last Beatles album recorded before McCarntey’s solo career began – Abbey Road.  The song is: You Never Give Me Your Money:

Someone may say that Let it Be was the Beatles last album, which is at least technically correct in that it was released after Abbey Road;  However it was recorded before Abbey Road.  And so chronologically, in terms of the life of the group, Abbey Road is their final album.

Personal history note:  when this album was released there was a rumor that Paul McCartney had died and that the news was being kept secret;  However… there were clues secretly recorded on the album.  A friend of mine and I, using a small cheap reel to reel tape recorder (3″ or 4″ reels), recorded and played back in reverse some parts of the album.  There was no smoking gun, but there was some weird stuff on there which I have to assume was done intentionally.  I don’t remember the deatails now, but it was enough to make a couple teenagers say “Whoa…” (the word “dude” had not yet entered the lexicon).

 

Music Friday – Happy Birthday…

Music Friday – Happy Birthday…

…Belated…to Sir Paul McCartney who turned 72 this week.  Happy Birthday to you!

It would be nearly impossible to overstate the success that Paul McCartney has had in music.  Whether his music is defined as art or business, or whether  the artist himself is defined as a composer or performer, Paul McCartney is one of the most prolific, popular and influential musicians of all time.  However, one can’t think of McCartney without also thinking of The Beatles – a band that is a rock icon in it’s own right.  In the light of history, the Beatles episode would only turn out to be McCartney’s overture.  It seemed like The Beatles served merely as a showcase for Lennon’s and McCartney’s talent, often to the consternation of Ringo and George.  Perhaps their breakup after all was a blessing since afterward we were able to fully experience the offerings of all four bandmates.

Not intending this to be a complete McCartney biography, I do intend to focus on his “birth” as a solo artist with some of his first solo works released post-Beatles. Per my usual format I have selected three songs that may be slightly obscure,  since I’d like to show you something you may not have heard before, or at least something you haven’t heard in a while or very often.

First up is a song from Pauls’ first solo album McCartney, sometimes known as the “cherries” album because of the cover art.  This is the album that produced the mega-hit Maybe I’m Amazed;  perhaps you’ve heard it a time or two over the past 40 years – unless you’ve been in a cave.

Anyhoo…this song is titled “Teddy Boy”.  Enjoy:

Next up area a couple songs from his second album, Ram.  This album was quite successful and several songs from this album made the charts, notably Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey and Another Day.  The first track is Too Many People:

Now that I think about it, that track may have also reached the charts – I seem to recall it getting some radio play.  though I could be mis-remembering because I listend to the crap out of this ablbum when it came out.  The final birthday offering is Ram On:

Doesn’t he make it seem effortless?  He had no formal music training, was (is?) largely self-taught, plays guitars, bass, keyboards and drums.  So, again, Happy Birthday!  And THANKS!

PS – You may wish to click on the Admiral Halsey link – the YouTube video contains what looks like some PM home video that I hadn’t seen before.  Interesting! -MS

 

Music Friday Housekeeping – Elton John leftover song

Music Friday Housekeeping – Elton John leftover song

While I was compiling the previous Goodbye Yellow Brick Road post, I came across the following song from the Tumbleweed Connection album and I had to share it as it is one of my all-time favorite songs.  Enjoy:

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