Saturday, June 04, 2005


Okay. I admit it. I was bored. And drunk? Maybe. More than a little. But whatever the motivatory factor, I was inspired to review the more than 1000 files of mp3s I possess and, in a spirit of historical analysis, was inclined to peruse same with respect to era. Precisely? Give us a break. Precise is that at which I am by no means good after even one of the 5.2%. (See blog title for further elucidation)

I will skip the 50s as examples therefrom would be overloaded with Monk and Miles and would, therefore, be of minority interest only and quantum jump to the swinging, fab sixties.

First stop, Jefferson Airplane and the less than 3 minutes of perfect pop that is 'Somebody to Love', closely followed by an example of crescendo building that would shame Freddie's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven' in that the same effect could be achieved by the same Airplane in less than 3 minutes again and still be as relevant when my daughter hears it for the first time as it was when I did...I give you, 'White Rabbit', a lesson in generational miscomprehension if ever there was one.

As long as whimsy remains a feature of any decent dictionary, then I reckon the Kinks' 'Waterloo Sunset' should remain on any playlist worthy of the name as should, of course, 'Lola'.

Hendrix would be well represented of course, although less for his guitar playing than for his vastly under-rated vocal accomplishments such as the 3' 21" version of 'Hey Joe' the phrasing of which and the uncomfortable edge of 'Purple Haze' still stand out as a beacon to the R&B derivatives that so despoil our airwaves today as does 'The Burning of the Midnight Lamp'.

Then 'that' snare shot that introduced 'Like a Rolling Stone' of the few records that can truly be said to have changed the world. Iconoclastic? Yes, but who gives a fuck?

The 70s were a tad problematic and I feel I should gloss over the early (embarrassing) years and concentrate on Tom Verlaine's Television and David Byrne's Talking Heads as representative of my listening during this rather dodgy period in musical history. James Brown deserves more than an honorary mention and even though 'Stoned to the Bone' might possibly be said to be a little tired, it still hits the spot as a perfect example of laid back funk.

The 80s? Fuck off. Did anything happen in the 80s? Well, for me, yes. Probably the most traumatic decade in my life so far but rather negligible from a musical point of view. Medium Medium springs to mind with 'Further than Funk Dream', a track which amply demonstrates the correct use of a saxophone in 'popular' music as similarly doth spring anything by Marianne Faithful in the same period. Particularly 'The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan' and 'Why d'ya do it?'.

The 90s? Well, pray allow me to recommend an episode of 'I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again' from what my machine assures me is 1997 12 00, the veracity of which I am still in doubt. Bloody good episode, though. Featured Stippen Pry, that well known Readers' Digest mailing list error and is well worth a listen.

Oh well, I am old and lack stamina. The 2000s will have to wait until such time as I am able to push the limits of my listening hours beyond 0100 in the bloody morning.

Pass the amphetamines, Alice.

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