Showing posts with label Pink Floyd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pink Floyd. Show all posts

Monday, October 13, 2008

The More You Love Music, the More Music Loves You

1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

For any music fan, you know a title of the 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die is worth a look. For novice fans, the book makes good suggestions ranging every musical genre you can think off. For the music fanatic you can read it to pick it apart, because even with a thousand entries, certainly everyone can come up with a least of a hundred recordings that should have been included in the list and a few that you make you scratch your head at their inclusion.

From his picture on the back of the book, it should be noted that author Tom Moon is of the Baby Boomer generation so naturally there is an overabundance of music from the sixties while Bob Dylan and the Beatles are more than represented. Okay old people, we get it, you really loved the Beatles, but really eight albums featuring the band members? Dylan landed four while a few ranked twice. Keep in mind Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run) and Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon) and U2 (The Joshua Tree) only made the list once. I would really like Moon to justify just how Usher’s Confessions, Britney Spears’ Toxic and No Doubt’s Rock Steady (which isn’t even the band’s best work) rank higher than Born in the USA, Wish You Were Here and Achtung Baby.

I also am not sure if I should complain about the exclusion of any Eric Clapton album (seriously, no Slowhand), he does show up with Derek and the Dominos, Cream, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, The Yardbirds, and Blind Faith. Where the sixties is well populated, looking at this book it is as the nineties didn’t exist unless you were a grunge band or a dead rapper. That did lead to possibly the best write up in the book for Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chamber) where Moon bizarrely starts up the review quoting poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. But enough with the complaints of the selections because if I continued to nit-pick I would write a review that rivals the book’s 1007 pages.

116 of those pages are just indexes. But with indexes for Genre, Occasions (like Parties, Romance), Composers, and Performers. Although it would have been nice if they would have thrown in an extra five pages to list the recording chronologically. But each write up is well done even if Moon doesn’t seem to really understand any the music he included that release after 1980. Each recording also include Key Tracks, Catalog Choice, other works by the artist worth listening to, as well as Next Stop and After That, two recording that are related musically to selection worth checking out.

Easily the most interesting inclusion has to be The Grey Album by Danger Mouse considering that to listen to it you are technically breaking the law. For those unfamiliar, The Grey Album a mash up between The White Album by The Beatles (which of course is also listed) and The Black Album from Jay-Z (which is conspicuously missing from the list) that launched Danger Mouse into a succesful producer and one half of Gnarls Barkley.

But whatever type a music fan you are, there is plenty of gems to find in the book. And the short segment are perfect to have laying around when you only have short spurts of time to kill, as it is currently taking up space in my bathroom. Just keep in mind the 1007 page thick frame is a little cumbersome to hold at time, so the short spurts of reading is really ideal.

1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Just the Dice You Roll

On a Island - David Gilmour

During the lead up to the concerts last year, the big new was the reuniting of , well san a still missing in action Syd. Many faithful hoped that this may be the beginning of thing to come with maybe a tour or even a new concert. Even during the concert, the band mates seemed cordial, getting together with a bow at the end. Since then both and stated that Live 8 was a one time thing with Waters promptly releasing an opera and Gilmour a just released album.

is Gilmour’s third solo record, which comes long longer than once in a blue moon, his last was eighteen years ago. Like many Pink Floyd albums, this one starts off with an instrumental, but Castellorizon is clunky and in no way sets a good mood for the album. This then transitions into the title track that sound very much like a part from Shine on You Crazy Diamond but without the passion or heartfelt lyrics. Speaking about songs that rip off another with less passion, the same could be said for Take a Breath but with Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir.

The only interesting aspect of the album is that it fulfills the fantasy of wondering what a band named Crosby, Gilmour, and Nash would sound like with Dave harmonizing with the other David and Graham on the title track. Almost makes you wonder what Pink Floyd would have sounded like if the recruited Stephan Stills instead.

The main problem with this album is, whereas Pink Floyd songs you just lay back and soak in the lengthy arrangements, many of the songs for On an Island leave you looking at your watch wondering if this is still the same song. But in the end if you already have all the Pink Floyd albums, this would make a good companion, if not, you’d be better off plugging your holes in your album collection. And if you don’t own Pink Floyd albums, I suggest you start off with Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon in that order.

Song to Download - On an Island

On an Island gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Ask and You Shall Receive

There were a lot of complaints last week of MTV/VH1’s coverage of the concerts as they cut from performance to performance, sometime cutting off an artist in mid-song. Well today, they did an alright job of righting their pervious wrong as both channels show five hours of uninterrupted and commercial free performances. It still wasn’t perfect as they didn’t give full performances of some artist like and . Not too mention the laundry list of performances that were left off that I pointed out in my original Live 8 post (World Keep on Turning, Cause it Won’t Be Too Long), none of those artist were given a slot today. So, alas, the best place to see the concerts until the DVD comes out is at . Here are some additions of interest that I saw on today’s broadcast that I didn’t mention in my last Live 8 review:

- What was with all the gratuitous Gwyneth and Apple shots during the performance? Although I have to admit that Apple gun-range type ear plugs the cutest thing.

- Even more questionable gratuitous shot was of Paula Abdul during Stevie Wonder’s performance. Seriously why?

- MTV and VH1 repeated many of the same performances like , Coldplay, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Robbie Williams, The Who, Pink Floyd, and Paul McCartney. Let’s play a little game of “Which One of These is Not Like the Others?” If you guessed Robbie Williams, go get yourself a cookie. Very few people on this side of the pond could even name one of songs. But at least MTV showed his performance of Angels, unlike VH1. And for anyone who thinks that’s a Jessica Simpson song, please do yourself a favor and download the original Williams version.

- Did I seriously hear start to sing Steve Miller Band’s The Joker in the middle of 3 AM? Worst placement of a song ever.

- Now I the biggest fan out there but I MTV didn’t show his performance because all they did was edit out every third word. It got unbearable to watch even for me. As I was flipping through the channels until Snoop was over I happened upon the WNBA All-Star Game. I didn’t even now they started their season yet, let alone are halfway through it.

- VH1 actually showed a performance from Johannesburg while MTV showed the same performance and a second one to boot. Yet nothing from Rome, Barrie, Paris, or Moscow.

- I wonder why only got one song. And how did get four songs plus an extra three song with ? Do people really need that long of a bathroom break?

- During my last post (Money, It's a Crime), I wondered if there was some sort of hug at the end of their performance and it turned out there was. I’m really beginning to think there will be a full reunion show (yes show, not tour) in the near future.

It was also telling what each channel chose as their post-concert programming. MTV showed a MTV News report dedicated to Live 8 that included many of the segments that were showed multiple times during last week’s show. It also included a segment featuring the detractors of Live 8 who made counterpoint, many of which I agree with. While VH1 decided to show a mini marathon of their Fabulous Life Of… series. Nothing better to follow up five hours devoted to eliminate poverty in Africa than having a show devoted to the life of excess. Do we really need to know that has about eight cars that cost a total of approximately two million dollars? Hey but at least he snapped his fingers in the One commercial. Way to contribute JT.

Also it was announce recently that the leaders of G8 have pledged to give $50 billion by 2010. A great step in the right direction, but one major obstacle is that many of the African countries are lead by ruthless dictators. There needs to be regime changes in these countries as some of the economist pointed out during the counterpoint in the MTV special. And unlike Iraq, a change in government would not be met with such opposition as the African people have nothing to lose and everything to gain by such a change. Yes Saddam was as horrible as his African counterparts, but Iraqi’s, for the most part were well off under Saddam (sans the Kurds), just as long as they didn’t cross him or his regime. So the Iraqis had much to lose by an invasion and met it with much resistance. This would not be the case in Africa, as it was not the case in Afghanistan either. So once these oppressive regimes are changed and a true democracy is put in place, then, and only then, will the dream of making poverty history will be achieved.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Money, It's a Crime

Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie.

After every major awards show, it is inevitable that most of the performers and winners see substantial sales spike in their albums and it seems that was no different as every artist in London saw an increase of the album. Bring up the rear with only a 3% increase was , but then again their latest album had been number one on the charts for the last couple weeks. Leading the pack was the reunited who saw their greatest hits package, Echoes, go up a whopping 1343% on Sunday compared with last week. Not to be influenced by their own lyrics (see title) Pink Floyd are, yet again, doing the right thing when they noticed the sales increase and donate all their profits from the sales to Live 8. Guitarist Dave Gilmore said:
Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert. If other artists feel like donating their extra royalties to charity, perhaps then the record companies could be persuaded to make a similar gesture and that would be a bonus. This is money that should be used to save lives.
I am not aware of artists asides from Paul McCartney, doing so yet, but hopefully some more will start falling in line with Pink Floyd.

Speaking of donating to Live 8, if you want a copy of U2 and Paul McCartney performing at the opening of Live 8, follow the link to iTunes and pick up a copy for yourself with the proceeds going to Live 8 charity. Also if you missed a certain performance you wanted to see but MTV/VH1 cut it off or just didn't show it at all, AOLMusic is streaming all (I think) of the individual acts so you don't have to sit and hope you catch it on the live feed.

Back to Pink Floyd, their reunion got me thinking whether or not this will be a one time affair or maybe we will see Gilmore and Roger Waters back together again. Keep in mind that it’s been about thirty years since the two had talked. They even had to go through an intermediary to finalize the previously mentioned Echoes greatest hits album. Waters even boycotted Floyd’s induction into the in 1996 to avoid being in the same room as Gilmore. Gilmore instead had to duet with on the appropriate Wish You Were Here. They continued their grudge even as other 70’s acts such as , , and cashed in big time with reunion tours in the late 90’s. But watching their Live 8 performance, one might think that the fence might finally been mended as both Gilmore and Rodgers look happy and playful sharing the same stage, albeit as they stayed far away from each other while performing as well as the Hey Jude finale. I am interested if there were any hugs or handshakes at the end of their performance but unfortunately MTV/VH1 cut to performance before that happened. So if anyone saw the live feed, please leave a comment to let me know if there was any kind of effort by either to show a sign of solidarity.

I have a feeling that we will not be seeing any new Pink Floyd album that features Waters in any capacity. Nor do I think that there will be any full-fledged “Back for More Cash” reunion tour á la The Eagles. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a page out of Cream’s recent playbook and have a run of show in London (most likely Wembley Stadium) and donate the gate to charity. But this will lead to a sticky situation with a playlist as songs like post-Waters songs such as Learning to Fly and High Hopes have become Floyd classics. Would Rodgers agree to perform these songs? Would he instead have a stand-in play those songs? Would he insist that none of those songs be played? Hopefully we will find out the answers to these questions sometime soon.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

World Keep on Turning, Cause it Won't Be Too Long

Amazing day yesterday as I spent over ten hours glued to either my TV screen or computer screen watching the concerts. I was a little disappointed in the MTV/VH1/ABC coverage as I was under the impression that MTV and VH1 would be doing two separate broadcasts with maybe one focusing on the Philadelphia concert and the other focusing in on the London concert. Instead we got one solo show just showed on two separate channels. What a waste of airtime. And being that it was MTV, what we got was small snippets of some the performances instead of full one or even full songs in most case. They rarely went outside of London of Philadelphia stopping into Paris once (Shakira), Berlin three times (twice for Green Day, once for Audioslave), Japan once (Good Charlotte), Canada twice (Jet, Simple Plan), Africa twice and they never went to Rome once. And there is a good list of great performers that didn’t even make it to TV:

Sarah McLachlan (with some dude named Josh Groban on Angel)
Brian Wilson
Snow Patrol
Ms. Dynamite
The Cure
Sheryl Crow
Crosby, Stills and Nash
Duran Duran
Barenaked Ladies
Byran Adams
Pet Shop Boys
P. Diddy
Lauryn Hill
Neil Young
Rob Thomas (Well that wasn’t much of a loss actually)

And the song selection was poor sometimes too. We had to sit threw Will Smith’s Switch when they could have let us see the classic Summertime or the cheesily entertaining Theme to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So I found myself watching more and more from my computer thanks to Here are some of my highlights.

Goosebumps moments:
- Paul McCartney with U2 in doing
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band live for the first time ever with some faux Beatles in Pepper outfits playing french horns
U2’s set including their version of Unchained Melody
- Coldplay bringing out Richard Ashcroft to sing Bittersweet Symphony
- Black Eyed Peas with Stephan and Rita Marley to sing Get up Stand Up
Kanye West backed by a Sting section
- Dido joined by Youssou N'Dour during Thank You
- The opening to Dave Matthews Band's
- Robbie Williams singing Angels they way it supposed to - without Jessica Simpson
- Green Day covering Queen’s
We Are the Champions
- Stevie Wonder and Adam Levane of Maroon 5 doing a duet on
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
Pink Floyd whole set, extra Goosebumps at the beginning of each song
- Maroon 5 covering Neil Young’s Rockin in the Free World
Alicia Keys’ tribute to Luther Vandross
- Jay-Z backed by Linkin Park who did a faithful
Public Service Announcement

Tear Jerkers:
- Bob Geldolf bring out an African Girl who, at the time of Live Aid, was only given ten seconds to live
Annie Lennox playing Why over a montage of AIDS victims
- The finale in London with everyone singing Hey Jude with Paul McCartney

Other interesting tidbits:
Snoop Dogg was able to get 5 F-bombs pass the MTV censors (and the N-word once). Granted he mumbles some and they weren’t part of the song. The bigger slip was they Pink Floyd let the blatant word in Pink Floyd’s Money or maybe they let it slip because it Floyd.
Beyoncé wore a skirt that was as short as it could have been without showing off her Kootchiepop.
- I was a little disappointed that no one pulled a
Phil Collins this year.
- The only American acts in Rome -
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill?
UB40 were introduced saying they were going to perform a medley of their hits. Shouldn’t it been a medley of other people’s hits?
- Who invited Randy Jackson? I had to laugh when I spotted him playing a tiny keyboard when
Mariah Carey already had two keyboarders on stage with two large keyboards themselves.
- What was up with Stevie Wonder’s moustache/beard thing around his mouth? Who let him out of the house like that?
- There were a lot of lyric changes to reflect the festivities including U2, Sting but my favorite was Kanye West switch the line in Jesus Walks into, “And George Bush gets paid off of all of that.”
- When I saw you could download
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club from the concert on iTunes, I thought the whole concert would be available, but alas the only other song available (for now hopefully) was The Long and Winding Road. Click on the links to get them for yourselves.

If you missed the concert, is still streaming Paris, Canada, and Philadelphia. London was stopped sometime during the 1st rebroadcast and Berlin was taken offline sometime last night. Hopefully there is a comprehensive DVD coming because, even after all I watch, there is still a lot I missed.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Come In Here, Dear Boy, Have a Cigar

With the reunited Pink Floyd showing up at Live 8 tomorrow, it seems only right that my favorite Floyd album be the next inductee into the Scooter Hall of Fame. Granted Wish You Were Here was a concept album about the one member who most likely won’t be showing up this weekend Syd Barrett. To be honest, I’m not even sure if Barrett is even still alive.

I was originally turned on to Floyd during the early nineties when The Division Bell was released. Sonically, it was different from anything I have ever heard before. Then, like most of my generation who missed out on the Waters’ era, I went back and discovered their earlier work. Although most of the rest of my generation were drawn more to Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall, I always thought that Wish You Were Here was their best work.

The album somehow is able to have Floyd’s most adventurous song and it’s most simple song on the same album and makes them work within the concept of the album. Shine on You Crazy Diamond is a massive opus that bookends the album with parts I-V opening up the album and VI-IX closing it out. Each part takes the listener to a different place sonically even though only two of the parts feature singing. On the other end of the spectrum, the title track is a simple, but effective, song with dual acoustic guitars intertwining throughout the song. And even though the song was about their lost friend Barrett, Wish You Were Here is a great song to listen to if you are missing a friend, family, or significant other.

Filling out the rest of the album are Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar. Neither of the songs would be found on anyone’s top 50 Floyd song list, but both capture the “machine” of the music business and how it could drive someone crazy.

Artwork in another big aspect of the Floyd experience and Wish You Were Here has the most striking artwork in their history. It is a picture that appears to at a movie studio (or part of the machine) with two men (very seventies looking might I add) shaking hands. Only one of the men is on fire. Also the picture is bordered by a light yellow, but if you look at the upper-right hand corner, you’ll notice a little of the border has been burned off. It is very subtle and a great introduction to a brilliant album.