Thursday, March 29, 2007

7 songs I'm listening to

Penny, over at C O A H T R tagged me with the 7 songs I'm listening to meme. I'm afraid that my list wouldn't be very exciting if I simply typed in the latest seven entries on my Winamp MP3 playlist. Here's why:

Ten or so days ago, I decided that I was going to play my entire 10,000 song MP3 inventory front to back, non-stop, while I was in my office. I rip songs from my extensive CD collection, then store them on my computer so I don't have to keep on changing CD's every 45 minutes or so. Right now, I'm up to this song:

1. The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night. I have been a hard-core Beatles fan since I first heard "She Loves You" blaring from a home in Toronto's High Park area while going for a walk on a wintry evening in late 1963. I never tire of their music.

Because my songs are alphabetically organized, you might guess, and you would be correct, that more Beatles songs follow in the queue, and that the preceding songs might just have been by the Beach Boys. So, to make this more interesting, I'm going to cheat and finish this list with six of my all-time favourite songs.

2. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb. I love David Gilmour's soaring guitar solo, and of course the classic opening line of the song: "Hello... Is anybody in there..." Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

3. Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra - Blue Danube Waltz. This track was cut in 1937, and featured Josephine Tumminia as vocalist. The performance is uptempo, exuberant, funny and unique. Yes, I know this is a weird choice, but I'm a weird guy.

4. Johnny Cash - I Could Never be Ashamed of You. This was recorded way, way back, probably late fifties or early sixties, and is Cash at his best - raw, powerful voice, twangy guitar and gospel-style background harmonies. Great stuff. I believe this was originally a Hank Williams Senior song.

5. George Harrison - Savoy Truffle. Harrison has always been grossly underrated, perpetually in the shadow of Lennon and McCartney. He's gone and I miss him. This imaginative recital of what appears to be a dessert menu or a list of confections, is imaginative, catchy and pure Harrison.

6. Yngwie Malmsteen - Icarus Dream Fanfare. If you have never heard of Malmsteen or have never heard his entirely instrumental Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar, you simply must remedy that oversight. Right now! This is incredible stuff. The entire album rocks!

And there you have it.



  1. what is it w/ guys and Pink Floyd?

    I mean, it's everywhere. Men and Pink Floyd. There must be a rule.

    ok, totally done w/ my sexist stereotypes. I always knew you were a beatles man.

  2. Floyd is listening music. To appreciate it, you have to immerse yourself in it. Most women I have known treat music as something to have in the background. I don't know if that is a universal thing, or if it just happens to apply to women I have known. I love to totally immerse myself in music when I can, stretched out, eyes closed, nothing in the world exists except the music. A lot of 'bubble gum' stuff just doesn't suit that sort of immersion.

  3. It was a fad in the 80's for planetariums to have Pink Floyd laser light shows.

    I liked better to watch the stars while listening to 'floyd. Sitting in the reclining chairs with music surrounding you, with the galaxy over your head.....

    I saw Pink Floyd in concert years ago. The audio quality of it was amazing. There wasn't just some wall of speakers on the stage, they had speakers on the sides and back.

    I agree with you, it isn't background music. It is a listening experience.

    One of my all-time favorites is Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing.
    (Somewhere I have a copy of their performance in Carnegie Hall, I like that version better.)

  4. I fell in love with Pink Floyd in highschool, when they put out their Momentary Loss of Reason album and then continued to indulge with everything else they had done.

    Including psychotropic drugs and The Wall - the flowers.. ohh.. those flowers..

    Pink Floyd is a fantastic journey and that song in particular, Atavist and it's opening line, became my motto, theme and mantra, setting the tone for the rest of my life.

    Malmsteen, I was also introduced to in highschool.

    To respond to Jen's comment on men and floyd (I had a boyfriend who named his orange tabby cat Floyd), I think that overall, Pink Floyd is, for lack of a better description, right now, their 'feminine side'. There is a lot of angst and pain regarding male oppression in Pink Floyd's music. It could be classified more generally as the human condition, but if you look deeper, listen longer, you'll see downtrodden little boys in many of those songs and whether it be by fierce mothering or the rigid educational systems or the societial expectations made of men, it's oppression and it is, in my opinion, very gender specific.

  5. Interesting analysis of the men/Floyd relationship, Penny. It sounds plausible. I actually rarely listen to lyrics and am mostly immersed in the meolodies, chords, harmonies, rythyms, etc. I'll listen to Floyd now with a new interest.

  6. Bob: I'm going to look up that Benny Goodman link at youtube. I like the Paul Whiteman Orchestra too.

  7. Wow, Bob: I'd forgotten all about Gene Krupa on drums. That is an incredible clip.

  8. I can't remember which said of the other, but between roger waters and david gilmore there were problems, one left Pink Floyd and one said of the other that his music was primarily of the angst of the british public school system.

    Gene Krupa also played with Glen Miller.

    My dad likes big band music and I learned mine from him.

  9. You're right, Bob. Roger Waters was the angst-ridden writer who penned a lot of early Floyd stuff. He split from the rest of the group, most notably David Gilmour who is the genius guitar player/vocalist who truly give Floyd their unique sound.

  10. I've been listening to the Beatles, too, vicariously through my son's ear pieces. He's HOOKED on the Beatles, and the Grateful Dead. Great, I've raised a Dead Head...who also loves Pink Floyd.

  11. The Beatles are a harmless group to listen to, with catchy melodies and harmonies, etc. A lot of today's music is truly scary with its violent undertones and twisted worldview. I could personally never get into the Grateful Dead, but they sure do have a huge following, still.