Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

The Engineer Of The Beatles

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Sad news today is the passing of Geoff Emerick, the sound engineer for the many of the Beatles best known recordings. You can read about his important contribution to the Beatles legend here.

Old Times Good Times

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

The last two albums reviewed on this page have both burned up the charts, despite the veteran status of both artist. Macca (76) has seen Egypt Station top Billboard and reach #2 in the UK, while Paul Weller (just turned 60) has reached #2 with his 14th solo album, and effectively 26th in his career.

But the most exciting news for veteran musicians is no doubt the 50th anniversary White Album collection, available in 3CD and 7CD configurations, including the Esher Demos. We may just see a group that broke up almost 50 years ago also tearing up the charts.

23 Songs For Today

Monday, September 24th, 2018
  1. ) Why I’m Like This- The Autumn Defense
  2. ) Kind Woman -Buffalo Springfield
  3. ) Here Without You -The Byrds
  4. ) Hickory Wind -The Byrds
  5. ) Nothing Was Delivered -The Byrds
  6. ) Lady Friend -The Byrds
  7. ) Say Oh Say -Courtney Jaye
  8. ) New Day -Courtney Jaye
  9. ) Southbound Train -Crosby, Stills & Nash
  10. ) Wasted On The Way -Crosby, Stills & Nash
  11. ) Landslide -Dixie Chicks
  12. ) Hot Burrito #1 -The Flying Burrito Brothers
  13. ) She’s The Kind Of Girl -Gene Clark
  14. ) Photographs And Memories -Jim Croce
  15. ) I Got A Name -Jim Croce
  16. ) Crying In My Sleep -Jimmy Webb
  17. )  Land’s End/Asleep On The Wind -Jimmy Webb
  18. ) If I Knew Then -Lady Antebellum
  19. ) Drinkin’ Problem-Midland
  20. ) Burn Out -Midland
  21. ) Getaway Driver -Miranda Lambert
  22. ) Things That Break -Miranda Lambert
  23. ) Southern Man -Neil Young

Weller Country

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Late 1967 and 1968 saw many artists move in a simpler, more pastoral direction (think Friends, John Wesley Harding, Sweetheart of the Rodeo). 50 years later, Paul Weller has also moved in this direction with True Meanings. Weller, who has just turned 60, has been prolific , with six albums in the last 10 years, including last year’s A Kind Revolution. All of these recent records have been well-received, with Weller’s willingness to experiment and innovate earning favor with the critics and the public.

True Meanings may be something of a musical retreat to an acoustic, lightly orchestrated sound, but in the mayhem in 2018, this is no bad thing, especially when there are such gorgeous melodies among the fourteen tracks. All of the songs are well-crafted, but standouts include Aspects, Books and What Would He Say?

Macca Station

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Macca is back with his new album Egypt Station –and back in the public consciousness especially on the back of the Carpool Karaoke video with James Corden. The new album, as with the previous New album, sees McCartney trying to modernise his sound for a new generation, especially on the rather gimmicky Fuh You –however his strength remains the modular pop songs like Hunt You Down/Naked/C-Link and especially Despite Repeated Warnings, which subtly but obviously digs at the current US Presidents environmental policies. The other strength is the traditional McCartney ballads such I Don’t Know and Do It Now. Overall, it may not in the upper echelons of McCartney’s work, but it shows that he is still a creative force to be reckoned with.

An Important Trip To The Country

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Today another important album turns 50 – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo was a commercial failure with a mixed critical reception, but is now regarded as the first country-rock album and a major milestone in the ever-expanding palate of pop and rock in 1968.

The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo Byrds were a very different group to the band that popularized folk rock and took Mr. Tambourine Man to number one. Only Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman remained from the original band, while the iconic Gram Parsons was an important addition to the band.

The two Dylan songs were a link to the past, but these were two unheard Dylan songs from the Basement Tapes sessions, done in traditional country style alongside two Parsons originals plus seven older and newer country standards. While Dylan’s You Ain’t Going Nowhere and Parsons Hickory Wind are probably the standouts, especially in terms of the original music, it is the overall countrified sound across all the songs that makes the album an important listen throughout.

On release, the album managed to alienate both rock fans, who didn’t like the traditional country and possibly even the traditional values espoused by The Christian Life and some other songs, as well as country fans who didn’t like the idea of the long-haired hippies doing their music. 50 years later, the union of rock and country has inspired many an artist, and showed us that building bridges across differences is a lot better than building walls.

 

Reflections

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

It’s a time for reflection – as the world mourns the great loss of Aretha Franklin, at a personal level, the 15th August marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of my mother.

On Thursday night, Brian played a show in Berlin, a city that I visited recently. While not conventionally attractive like many European cities, it is a place of reflection, where the greatest evil of the last century was centered, but also of hope and rising above a past. It looks like Brian’s show was well-attended and successful as this review attests. (in German, but can easily be translated online).

23 Songs For Today

Friday, July 27th, 2018
  1. Passing By -The Beach Boys
  2.  Diamond Head -The Beach Boys
  3. I Went To Sleep The Beach Boys
  4. Friends -The Beach Boys
  5. Anything At All -Crosby, Stills & Nash
  6. Lady Stardust -David Bowie
  7. Ziggy Stardust -David Bowie
  8. Might As Well Be Dumbo -The High Llamas
  9. There Is Always Something There To Remind Me -The Housemartins
  10. When It Was Done -Hugo Montenegro
  11. Tired Of Waiting For You -The Kinks
  12. Dosed -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  13. Can’t Stop -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  14. Million Miles of Water -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  15. Hard To Concentrate -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  16. Ride Away -Roy Orbison
  17. Hips Dont Lie-  Shakira (ft Wyclef Jean)
  18. (It Ain’t Necessarily) Byrd Avenue -Spanky & Our Gang
  19. California Suite -The Beach Boys & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  20. Power Lines -The Magic Numbers
  21. The Hustle -Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
  22. Leave Me Be -The Zombies
  23. Nothing’s Changed -The Zombies

Brief Dispatches

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

This blog wishes Elvis Costello well after his recent cancer diagnosis and surgery. The singer recently cancelled the rest of his tour dates to recuperate from surgery. Here’s to a 100% recovery and lot of good vibrations going Elvis’s way.

Coming back to tour after surgery  in just over a week is Brian Wilson. His next date is on the 15th July, in British Colombia.

 

23 Songs For Today

Saturday, June 30th, 2018
  1. The Morning After -Ashley Monroe
  2. I’ll Still Love You (When Every Song Is Sung) – Cilla Black
  3. I Don’t Want To – Deana Carter
  4. I Could Never Say Goodbye – Enya
  5. Native Land -Everything But The Girl
  6. Accidently Kelly Street -Frente!
  7. Tomorrow On The Runway -The Innocence Mission
  8. Happy & Sad -Kacey Musgraves
  9. Rainbow -Kacey Musgraves
  10. Nothing At All -Kasey Chambers
  11. Call Off The Search -Katie Melua
  12. Blue -Lucinda Williams
  13. Shiver -Natalie Imbruglia
  14. Sleep All Summer -Neko Case
  15. If I Turn Away -October Project
  16. Native New Yorker -Odyssey
  17. Manhattan -Saint Etienne
  18. You’re In A Bad Way -Saint Etienne
  19. My Heart Can’t Tell You No -Sara Evans
  20. It Don’t Matter Now (Missing You) -Sarah Darling
  21. Leader Of The Pack -The Shangri-Las
  22. If You Could Only Be Me – Spanky & Our Gang
  23. Earthbound/Epilogue -The 5th Dimension