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Tag: The Beatles

The Friday Five: November 27, 2009

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Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ)dā,-dē ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

Editor’s Note: My tryptophan-addled brain completely failed to realize that it was Friday until just about an hour ago, despite the fact that I’m working! Here’s a ‘live’ five for you to enjoy this weekend!

The Five:

Sunny Day Real Estate – “Pheurton Skeurto” (from Sunny Day Real Estate, 1994)

A quiet island in a stormy sea, “Pheurton Skeurto” is a jaunty sea shanty with impossible lyrics and one of my favorite tracks on the seminal emo band’s self-titled debut.

The Beatles – “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (mp3) (from Help!, 1965)

Lennon’s attempts at incorporating the folk influences of the day (specifically Bob Dylan) provide us with one of the most beautiful tunes in The Beatles catalog.

Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations” (from Music for the People, 1991)

Occasionally the shuffle button betrays me. This could be one of those occasions.

Bush – “Machinehead” (from Sixteen Stone, 1994)

I’m going to go on record here and say that I never disliked Bush, but I never liked them all that much either. Of all their post-grunge (lite) tunes, this one was always a favorite.

Anthrax – “I’m the Man (Def Uncensored version)” (mp3) (from I’m the Man, 1987)

I’m so bad, I should be in detention.

What’s keeping you going on this Black Friday?

The Friday Five: October 30, 2009

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Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ)dā,-dē ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

Hanson – “MMMBop” (mp3) (from Middle of Nowhere, 1997)

From The Osmonds to Taylor Swift every generation has its own batch of teeny-bopper talent. The ‘90s spawned the trio of Hanson brothers and their über-catchy blend of sunny post-grunge, alternative-pop and Motown informed harmonies and what could possibly be the most ubiquitous hit of the ‘90s. No small feat for a group of adolescents from Oklahoma. And for the record, yes this album is in my library.

The Beatles – “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)

While I’ve just recently come up for air from my prolonged dive into the Beatles remastered collection I still cannot hear these songs enough. If you’ve not picked up any of the collection yet I cannot suggest strongly enough that you put the entire collection on your Mellowmas list.

2Pac – “California Love (long radio edit)” (from How Do U Want It, 1996)

California knows how to party… Proof!

Everything But the Girl – “Time After Time” (mp3) (from Acoustic, 1992)

I’m certain that I’ve said before that covers of a classic song can sometimes exceed the original performance. More often than not, the cover is merely a dutiful facsimile. Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” has been recorded by no less than 45 artists in the 25 years since its original release and of the versions that I’ve heard not one comes close to the original but this rendition by the British duo holds its own.

Prince & The Revolution – “Raspberry Beret” (from Around the World in a Day, 1985)

After the success of Purple Rain Prince surprised everyone by releasing the neo-psychedelia opus Around the World in a Day with little fanfare. The music was closer to the less radio-friendly fare of 1999 and showcased the increasing input of the members of the Revolution. “Raspberry Beret” itself was more straightforward pop than anything else and to this day gets play when Prince tours.

Hit that shuffle button and drop yours in the comments!

The Friday Five: September 11, 2009

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Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ),- ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

Editors Note: Beatlemania is alive and well and kicking this week’s five back to the ’60s for five tunes from the fab four.

The Beatles – “Get Back” (from Let It Be, 1970)

I’d like to say thank you of behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition” – John Lennon

The Beatles – “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” (mp3) (from Past Masters, Volume Two, 1988)

If pressed to name my “Desert Island” Beatles tracks, this would land squarely in the Top 10. Hell, it would probably make the Top 5. Originally released as the B-side to “Let It Be” this track has the distinction of being the last official release in the The Beatles cannon.

The Beatles – “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” (from The Beatles, 1969)

And to the other end of the spectrum, this is probably one of my least favorite tunes in the catalog. To that point is a bad Beatles song a bad song? While you ponder that…

The Beatles – “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (from Help!, 1965)

We make our way to another favorite. According to Paul the song “is just basically John doing Dylan.”

The Beatles – “A Hard Day’s Night” (from A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)

Like many of you out there, the first thing I did when I got my hands on the remasters was cue up this track and turn up the speakers. The familiar, and noticeably clearer, opening chord rang out and it instantaneously transported me back to the first time I recall hearing the tune. The remastered track – and the whole collection, for that matter – brings to the front the considerable contributions of Ringo Starr. It’s as if I never noticed the bongo track underneath the verse.

What’s got you spinning across the universe this week?

The Friday Five: May 8, 2009

That's Handy, Harry! Stick It In The Shuffle

For those who have not joined in the Friday Five here is all you need to know; each Friday I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me.

The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments. The more the merrier!

The Five:

Winter Hill” (mp3) by Doves (from Kingdom of Rust)

I’ve listened to this record quite a few times and it’s yet to leave any lasting impression on me beyond “the lead singer (Jimi Goodwin) sounds like a cross between Chris Martin of Coldplay and Kele Okereke of Bloc Party.” Overall it’s a solid indie rock record that I’m sure will grow on me, it’s just not there yet.

“Oh! Darling” by The Beatles (from Abbey Road)

Wringing every bit of soul his slight British frame could muster, “Oh! Darling” is as close to 50’s Rhythm & Blues (à la Fats Domino) as Paul McCartney and The Beatles could manage. In a 1980 Playboy interview John Lennon said of the song “‘Oh! Darling’ was a great one of Paul’s that he didn’t sing too well. I always thought I could have done it better – it was more my style than his. He wrote it, so what the hell, he’s going to sing it.” It’s hard not to agree as John clearly had the more soulful voice.

To ‘B’ or Not to ‘B’” (mp3) by Chet Atkins & Tommy Emmanuel (from The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World)

The mentor and the apprentice, though to call Tommy Emmanuel an apprentice is like calling Kobe Bryant an ‘okay’ basketball player. This entire record is a celebration of the style that the legendary Chet Atkins loved and championed his entire career. It’s fitting that this would be his final recording before passing in 2001. This specific tune has a ‘club jazz’ feel and is beautifully orchestrated.

“Soul Clappin'” by Sly & The Family Stone (from Dance to the Music)

Come on… ya’ll know how to ‘soul clap’… on the one!

Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution” (mp3) by Afro Fiesta (from Playing for Change: Songs Around the World)

By now I’m sure that you’ve all seen the video produced by the group of filmmakers who compiled buskers, street performers, choirs and the odd (and frankly out of place) superstar (yes, I’m looking at you Bono) from around the world and worked them into a single performance of “Stand by Me” (Pete posted it a while back). The group has released a record, the proceeds of which will go to the Playing for Change Foundation (Official Site) whose mission is simply “building and connecting music/art schools around the world” which is certainly a worthwhile cause. The album itself falls a little flat in places without the visual aspect to support it, but not to worry as there is a DVD included capturing the performances. This particular performance stood out to me and is one of my favorites from the record.

That’s it for me, what’s next on your shuffle?

Imagine This

I just got done watching ‘Imagine: John Lennon’ on HBO. I saw it in the theater back when it came out in 1988, and hadn’t see it since. Really a powerful film since it’s basically entirely narrated by John with audio and video clips taken from his entire career. No need to expound on the genius of John Lennon and the Beatles, but suffice it to say once the film is over, you feel emotionally drained as you’re left with the reality of his tragic death. Blah. Blech.

Here’s a contemporary take on a Beatles classic…

Grandaddy: Revolution (mp3) – from the I Am Sam Soundtrack, which features 17 different Beatles covers.