Apologies as I never managed to quite finish certain reviews, they'll come eventually. Currently down in Cornwall doing a further course in mining, cheers for all your messages and comments :D
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Dream Youself Away
A collection of songs that will take you to another world with magic and mystery
Gasp what, disadvantages, how could that be .
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From a very early age I have possessed a peculiar taste for old music not just because my parents had wonderful taste in music in those days and had a brilliant record collection between them, but I have just been blown away to another world quite literally by certain albums and specific songs. The divine rock stylings of the Beatles and the stones were like motivational conmen but in a diversely wonderful manor. On my 16th birthday I went to see the datsuns live, and was completely blown away by the thundering guitars and possessive vocals I just thought to myself man I have to get an electric guitar and thus the next week I did. I must admit that many of my guitar teachers were not exactly over enthusiastic, it was basically play Led Zeppelin's Going to California on your guitar in a week, then rant after rant of getting the melody muddled up I decided to self teach myself and just buy sheet music or copy some tabs on the net and play to myself at night.
There was nothing like the divine satisfaction of finally getting a guitar melody perfectly accurate and the ability to customise them with a couple of guitar slides and string bendings now and again. After all i was not doomed to be playing Going to California for the rest of my life was it hehe. I have great admiration for students who form their own rock groups and get hired to play gigs at theatres and clubs it seems as if i just don't poses the image but then again it's not about image but sharing your talent and unique personality with the world and try to help people find confidence through the use of music.
My musical heroes have gone through many phases in their lives, some have died, disappeared off the face of the earth never to return and some have just changed completely but their talent and love for music will never be forgotten and certainly their influence on me will always remain special to me. Richey James Edwards from the Manic street preachers, Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd, Kurt Cobain from Nirvana are just a few examples of wonderful and completely unique talents that have produced some very fine music over the decades.
I thought I'd attempt to share a few of my fave.songs with all you wonderful ciaoers, some may think I'm crazy hehe I hope not all of you, some may agree some may disagree that's fine with me I just want to express my love for these wonderful and magical songs and attempt to do them justice but mere words will never be enough, here goes:
10) The Doors - Light My Fire
Californian magic produced by some of the most hip, poetic and Diverse American bands of their time. The lovely and magical Doors formed in 1965 by students Ray Manzarek on organs and bass guitar, Jim Morrison on vocals, Robby Kreiger on guitar and of course John Densmore on the drums. The beauty of the Doors lies in the druggy, medieval magic pouring out of the electrical organs of Manzarek, combined with Jim Morrisons emersefuly deep and romantic vocals and wonderful poetic lyrics the Doors would carry listeners to another realm of fantasy, Jim Morrison's rich and deeply chilling vocals experienced the highs and lows of the psychedelic hippie era. The Doors combined blues with eastern music and heavily druggy hippie compositions to form a large array of beautiful songs in which to hit the world on the head with.
The Doors debut which was self-titles was to be their first and best album, Jim Morrisons poetry and intriguingly philosophical lyrics seemed to span a lifetime, Jim was so overwhelmingly charismatic and charming that their success was steered directly towards him having strange and profound effects on the man's talents and self esteem. The bands debut featured this wonderful track ' Light my fire ' which in my opinion is one of the greatest and most magical songs of the hippie era. Many will remember Oliver Stone's 1991 film ' The Doors ', which depicted the dark and turbulent times the band, went through and Jim's antics were heavily exposed.
Light my fire starts with a magically electrical organ melody so hectic you get completely hooked on its divine sounds. Jim's heavily deep and romantically soothing vocals pours out the poetry and philosophy of his mystical lyrics, the lyrics are so dreamy they intensify and blow up into a crazy and hecticly beautiful organ solo, array after array of magical organs come willowing out of the mists and flow like a beautiful steady stream, Kreigers awe strikingly diverse guitar solo emerses from the depths of Manzarek's streamy organs, the guitars and organs intertwine and continue to intensify until exploding back to Manzarek's organ intro, the re entry of Morrison's beautiful vocals add so much intense excitement to the song, the possessive repetitions ' Try to set the night on fire ' fade away with soothing intensity back into Manzarek's wonderful organs. This song blows me away every time i listen to it, it's easy to just emerse yourself in this song and dream away.
9) Lou Reed - Perfect Day
Leader of the revolutionary New York wonders 'The Velvet Underground' Lou Reed has become one of the greatest and most influential talents of our time. The close friendships between Lou and David Bowie have produced between them some of the most divine and futuristic songs out there. Lou Reed unlike most frontmen of incredibly famous bands became more successful as a talented soloist than part of his Velvet Underground group. Although the New Yorkers first solo album was a torrid affair of struggles and frustration his mind blowing second album ' Transformer ' which featured perfect day and take a walk on the wild side would skyrocket his solo career and remain among the archives of the greatest albums in history.
Lou Reed's classic 'Perfect day' has become an extraordinary success and peaked once again this century when he re-released his single in collaboration with many other artists including David Bowie and many others as part of the Children in Need song. This single became the second fastest selling single in British history just behind Elton John's 'Candle in the wind' single, Lou Reed has been responsible for many bands around today including the Strokes.
Perfect day is a story of love between Lou and his girlfriend, it tells the story of the couples' day out together, drinking sangria in the park awwww how romantic. The wonderful song begins with a melancholy piano melody, Lou's deep and heavily slurred and soothing vocals emerge from the piano solo until intensifying into a mind blowing chorus, Lou's vocals seem exhausted at the point of each verse along with the melancholic piano melody a sad and tragic tone is produced until re exploding back into a powerful chorus where Lou's reed intensifies into a divine and exciting crescendo, the pace dies away with a beautiful piano melody coupled with Lou's soothing vocals repeating the line ' Your Going To Reap Just What You Sow ' until the songs pace gradually dies away leaving the listener in a divinely wonderful mood and sense of mind. This song always leaves me in a happy mood and whenever I'm down Lou's talent always lifts me back up. Lou Reed's vocals are extremely underrated at times he can add sarcasm, anger, happiness, jealousy into any song just by using his wonderfully deep vocals, it's pure magic, God bless you Lou Reed.
8) Derek And The Dominos - Layla
Surrey's guitar wizard Eric Clapton has experienced one of rock's most remarkable careers, from being part of John Mayal's bluesbreakers to collaboration with Roger Waters debut solo album to Cream's 2005 reformation, it just goes to show that every rock band is desperate for a guitarist as powerfully talented as Mr. Clapton. Eric Clapton has been directly influenced by hundreds of blues bands that would make Jimmy Page gasp in awe. His stylings and talents are so far complexed and experienced that he remains the world's most talented active guitarist.
Eric was first part of the band the Yardbirds then established himself with John Mayals bluesbreakers. Shortly after Eric Clapton together with mates Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce called Cream. Creams were a basic yet complex fusion of blues, rock and psychadelia and became known as rock's first 'supergroup'. The band decided to disband in 1968 which became a shock as they skyrocketed ahead of Hendrix and the Beatles in both the US and UK charts. Eric Clapton has the longest career in rock and later after cream disbanded-formed Derek and the Dominos.
Derek and the Dominos recorded their debut and released it as a double album, Layla became an anthem and symbol for what just one man and his guitar can accomplish. Layla starts off with a magically complex riff then explodes into an out of this world guitar solo until with paceful distrtion explodes into a brutal chorus of blues like vocals flowing with the greatest guitar work in music (sorry hendrix I still love you) the whining guitar slides and bends are hysterically enthusiastic and welded to complete perfection, this song makes me feel like I have dies and gone to heaven the guitar work in hard to comprehend i still can't except that this was from one man's talent it is ridiculously powerful and dreamily complex and seems to last an eternity. Claptons guitar strings are bent to enormous strains but never snap and seem to be his talented slaves whining out magical sounds of love. This is layla, this is the greatest guitar solo ever, this is of course Eric Clapton.
7) The Rolling Stones - Jumping Jack Flash
Blues based rock and roll driven to new extremes the rolling stones became the rock and roll to the Beatles pop status and so the greatest rivalry of the 60's British invasion kicked off to amazing style. The rolling stones were extremely flirtatious to rocks gloom and blues' power and the attractions the band had for the likes of the who and other rock anthemists the bands experimentation's took new extremes at a fairly consistent rate. The rolling stones had been there, done that, and bought the t -shirt in everything they accomplished.
The two gloomiest and tragic era's of the stones had horrendously horrific consequences, at Alamont during a live gig a local biker gang names ' The hell's angles' were hired for security but brawled with certain rugged moshers and climatically stabbed to death a fan in front of the band live. Then before rock's new age of the 70's Brian Jones was fired and found dead in his swimming pool a few days later, these horrific events seemed to change the bands music slightly but never broke them, I have great admiration for The stones for staying together so long where most rock bands would disband.
Jumping Jack Flash is mainly focused around Keith Richards engine room soundings and wonderful open G- tunings. This remains my fave stones track and is at most their rarest track, not appearing on any major albums but early compilation 'Hot rocks' and later compilation 'Forty Licks'. The opening guitar riffs will make any guitarist drool, the divine and unique guitar tunings that Keith meddles with are generally open G and a lot lower than that of normal tunings to give a divine, blues sound. The divine elegance to Keith's guitar wizardry is enough to make you weep in admiration. Thundering vocals from Mr. Jagger slur and are deliberately prolonged which seem only to emphasise Keith's amazing guitar work, Bill Wyman concucts one of the greatest bass solos I have had the pleasure of hearing almost deliberately placed halfway into the song, Charlie Watt's drumwork is completely fixed in, the anthem shall i say ends with an admirable guitar solo and fades away into history as the songs elegance fades into the mists of time, ahhh Keef rocks!
6) Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
Led Zeppelin's success was short and sweet and like a shooting star shall never be forgotten. Jimmy Page shortly after leavin 60's mellow band the Yardbirds formed his own band with mates Robert Plant on vocals, John Paul Jones on organs and bass and John Bonham on drums. Jimmy Page always had a love for blues music and his influences ranged from Spirit to Bert Jansch.
The band went through impeccable phases, their first few albums were crammed with rock ballads and blue riffs and pure heavy rock elegance, then the later albums took a folk/rock direction and were quietly elegant rather than heavily so. While their only 70's and final album 'Physical Graffiti' received strong criticism they continued to shine a lantern in the darkness of rock and roll and become the most perfect and complete rock band in history.
Stairway to heaven is like a willow weeping in the waters of a stream the emotion of every note twanged by Page will make you weep. The harmonious entry of Plant's bittersweet vocals drenches the song with magic and pure folk elegance. Plant seems to weep inside emotionally while singing, this song is purely focused on love poured out of Plant's vocals and Page's guitar strings, such a harmonious symphony like song. The pace of the song intensifies and mellows out with the divine talent of Page's guitar work, infamously performed on a double guitar there is not one note of the guitar wasted, every morsel of the guitar is used to cast a spell and to whine out beautiful crescendos all over the song, low riffs together with high acoustic melodies intensify with Bonham's crashing symbols until Plant weeps out the final words 'And she's buying a stairway to heaven' would make you weep, Led Zeppelin are magical and mysterious this is the national anthem of the realms of Led Zeppelin, let your spirit sore!
5) Fleetwood Mac - Need Your Love So Bad
Pioneers of the British jazz and blues festival in 1967 Fleetwood Mac consisted of John Mcvie and Peter Green who emerged from John Mayal's bluesbreakers. Later drummer Mick Fleetwood joined hence the name Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac will always be remembered for their British blues revival of the late 60's while being influenced by cream and Hendrix the band had formed from a fusion of guitar influences like Eric Clapton and a diverse array of blues bands.
Peter Green remains one of Britain's greatest guitarists and his sweet emotional elegance is shone in style in each of his songs, the heart wrenching mellow songs of rage such as 'Man of the world' and 'Green manalishi' were his greatest hits, but Peter Green was perhaps the most sensitive and vulnerable of guitarists and was prone to be a victim of a continuous broken heart and these tragic feelings are poured into each of his songs and that is what makes this song one of my favourites.
Need your love so bad is perhaps the most emotional love song i have ever heard it hurts me sometimes to listen to it and I can understand what Peter Green must have been going through when he composed this song, it makes you weep it's so elegantly beautiful. Peter Green twangs every sweetly aching note as if it were a cry for help. Need your love so bad starts of with an estranges guitar melody mixed with a distant riff, the complex guitar work is dreamily mellow and soothing, Peter Green's emotions flow through his guitar in sweet pain it touches my heart each time I listen to it. The vocals are equally painful and together with the distant melancholy of violins fuse together to form a tragic mood. 'Need a soft voice to talk to me at night' is just a sweet example of the melancholy pleas for the love of a woman. Peter Green's emotions fly high and are heavily emphasised through each note of his guitar, the song is crammed full of turmoil and elegant beauty, sob we love you Peter Green!
4) Jimmy Hendrix - Purple Haze
Not as complexly emotional as Peter Green but still a very emotional musician Jimmy Hendrix remained a shy and sensitive guitarist, and was vulnerable to all sorts of rock and roll cliché's. Jimmy Hendrix had the greatest image of any musician I have seen gosh the great headband and cool tunics ahhhhh what a style. Jimmy Hendrix was shortly a victim of racial hatred in America at the time of his developing success and retreated to London where he became overwhelmingly appreciated and where his career skyrocketed out of control. Quite rightly appreciated as the greatest guitarist in history, Hendrix thoroughly deserved every bit of success he received, he had his own image, he wasn't at all a show off and was a very shy and friendly musician which made him an extraordinary success and attraction to women.
Jimmy Hendrix's guitar wizardry was not of this mortal world his stylings were from another world of magic and mystique. Each song made with his Jimmy Hendrix experience peaked with crazily distorted guitar solos that seemed to last an age and never loose energy, guitar bends and slides became a trademark and toyed with the mind of his listeners. The infamous antics of playing his guitar with his teeth and torching his guitar live were mere famous events to his success from the day he arrived in London in the hippie 60's he was worshiped and heralded as a guitar guru and magical saviour of rock and roll.
Purple Haze is perhaps Hendrix's most well known hit and contains his wonderful quote ' Scuse me while i kiss the sky ', purple haze is short and sweet and is a class song. Elegant guitar riffs and thundering vocals which explode into a wondrous guitar solo which remains the trademark of the hippie 60's era, performed at woodstock in extraordinary live style remains the ultimate hippie anthem!
3) Simon & Garfunkel - Sound Of Silence
The most beautiful combination of acoustic guitar and vocals out there from the legendary duo. If I could give you any set of songs that would make you weep and make you relax it would be a soothing Simon & Garfunkel compilation, the sweet melancholic vocals of Art Garfunkel together with the lyrics and guitars of Mr. Simon the sweet music of this duo would remain a wonder in the musical world and the willowing harmonious result of vocals and acoustic guitars make every song a thing of absolute awe striking beauty.
My favourite film 'The Graduate' is completely soundtracked from the Simon & Garfunkel album of the same name, not only did the film become a legendary success but so did it's bittersweet soundtrack following closely Dustin Hoffman's antics in the wonderful film. You can hardly blame the director for winning an academy award after requesting Simon & Garfunkel do the soundtrack to it can you hehe.
The sound of Silence starts with a haunting guitar melody and the combination of the duo's voices creep along with the moody guitar melody until the drums emerse the listener into a deep dream and soothing mood, i can never resist tapping my foot and nodding my head to this song, there is not any other song that has motivated me and brought me back to life and picked me up than this song and anything b this duo for that matter, the melancholic guitar melody is elegantly creepy and runs wild with the hauntingly elegant streamy vocals of the duo, awww what a beautiful song, bless those two!
2) Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond
My favourite band only in at number 2 I hear you say gasp what craziness is this, hmm.... Well no.1 is for my favourite song I'm afraid hehe. Ahh where do i start maybe a little history about the band first before I get muddled in the songs beauty. Pink Floyd were formed by Syd Barrett in the 60's the name was taken from two Georgian bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council hence the name. The stylings and magic of yd Barrett practically founded psychadelia and with their debut single 'Arnold Layne' and debut album 'The piper at the gates of dawn' Pink Floyd established themselves as kings of psychadelia. Syd suffered a tragic mental breakdown much like Peter Green and was replaced by David Gilmour. After many mediocre albums Roger Waters composed and released his band's first concept album 'The dark side of the moon' which became the fastest selling album of it's time.
After the extraordinary success of Dark side of the moon Roger Waters in collaboration with David Gilmour began his second concept album which mostly paid tribute to founding member Syd Barrett. The album was a hip and beautiful set of songs that sweetly paid tribute to beloved Syd, the emotion and power of the song was solely the product of love, each member powered their talents like a well oiled machine and used it to extremes to pay love to their dear departed friend.
Shine on you crazy diamond is a work of love and beauty from start to finish. The song opens with the low and sweet dronings of Rick's wonderful, beautiful keyboards. A lovely and melancholic melody emerges from the magical keyboards. Then sweetly and softly emerges Gilmour's guitar soloings ahhhh breathtaking absolutely breathtaking, quietly and elegantly an extremely powerful climax is building up by Gilmour's guitar, drums build up and come crashing into the realm of beauty. Soothingly mellow guitar melody's stream along and flow like a steady stream mixed in with the elegantly soothing keyboard symphonies of Rick Wright which drench the mood with bittersweet melancholy, until comes thundering on a galloping horse another striking guitar melody much like a bolt of lightening charging the song with high bursts of electricity. The mood emerses into Rogers deep and soothing vocals pour love into the song like a powerful waterfall, ' come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner' is just a sample of the sweet, lovely descriptions of Syd Barrett, deep trumpets seem to intensify and emphasise the love and beauty of this song and together with the elegant and mystical guitar melody, the song fades away into the darkness gradually, never to be forgotten, this ones for you Syd!
1) Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
That's it the creme de la creme, the pieste ela ristance, this is the best song I have ever heard in my entire life, better than any classical music symphony and much more divine than any rock anthem this is the magic of Tubular Bells. But how can I possibly pay homage to this work of beauty, how can i emphasise it's elegance, it's magic, it's mystique, the truth is i cannot, mere words will never be enough to do this piece of composure justice but I will try hehe.
Mike Oldfield at just 17 yrs old, which is a year younger than me, he composed Tubular Bells it became instantly number 1 in every country in which it was released. Tubular Bells remained in the UK and US album charts for over 5 years and sold over 16 million copies, still not impressed? Hmm.... the only person to knock Mike Oldfield's debut album off the no.1 spot was, yep , Mike Oldfield when he released his second album. Only The Beatles and Bob Dylan have ever accomplished such an amazing achievement.
Mike Oldfield was born in Reading in 1953, his dad served in the RAF and left his guitar for Mike to play with. At just ten years of age Mike composed large quantities of acoustic pieces and played at local folk groups over the years, the moment he came home from school on Fridays he would spend the entire weekend composing and performing on his guitar. Mike Oldfield began composition of Tubular Bells though the use of a tape recorder in which he found he could play more than one instrument on and record other simultaneously, Mike played all the instruments himself including pianos, guitars, organs, mandolins and glockenspiels. The song was used in the US for the controversial and brilliant horror film 'The Exorcist' and skyrocketed it's success to new extremes.
Tubular Bells starts with an eerie piano melody coupled with glockenspiels, the intense and creepynes is extremely haunting and emerses the listener into a divine, and wonderful yet curious sense of mind. Instrument after instrument is gradually added to the symphony, the song fades away into a piano/glockenspiel elegant melody, which possess all the elegance of a Beethoven symphony. Distorted guitars starts brewing with bass guitars and an organ, the arcane wizardry of this guitar solo is far more complex and intense than any rock offering, a creepy eeryness emerges from droning organs. The set pace is switched to a breathtaking steel string acoustic guitar melody intertwining with a piano concerto like melody. A haunting guitar melody is then played to enormous creepyness set by the very low tone of the amp, which suddenly explodes into distortion as if it were shot by a dozen bolts of lightening, a dozen fast paced power chords are concocted and add an incredible distorted heavy feel to the song. The songs end is executed to perfection as each instrument which are all played by Mike Oldfield begin a wonderful repetition of a creepy melody through the use of organs, tubular bells, guitars and various other peculiar instruments the most beautiful song ever composed is performed to complete perfection.
Gosh it's been strenuous attempting to do all these wonderful songs justice, thank you all soo much for bearing with me, and I thank all you wonderful ciaoers for taking the time to read, many thanx!