Getting a little frustrated here. Mainly because I'm pretty bored with just about everything, both musically & bookishly. It's been awhile since anything has really JOLTED me -- possibly since my buddy Crabby sent me a copy of Cromagnon's disturbing CAVE ROCK.
I'd welcome a break from the same-old same-old, from those widely-accepted classic hits we all grew up on. I'd love a POSITIVE jolt of new music. But, if you're gonna make recommendations, PLEASE, nothing as jolting as CAVE ROCK, OK...?
I have a stack of barely-touched CD's in the house that I've been hauling to work every nite 4 weeks, but it just seemed like 2 much work 2 put them on -- & once I did, they mostly failed 2 keep me motivated. (DID make some woeful new discoveries 4 another post about Really Bad Prog, however -- that 1 will B Coming Soon....)
Fell back on the almost-always-reliable Motivational Stuff -- & then failed 2 put that on the CD player, either. Not sure what's wrong with me -- might B that it's Winter & only just barely showing signs of Spring coming, that I was sick 4 a week, that the Old Reliables might finally B running out of charm & oomph 4 me.
Which doesn't mean I don't still think they'd work wonders 4 you, if you've never heard them.
Here's the thing -- I can post lists of great music I think you should check out, but I can't force you 2 go find them -- all I can do is post the info & hope 4 feedback.
I also can't -- at least so far -- seem 2 tell you specifically why I think this stuff is great or overlooked, why it might help hold your world together in the way it's helped me for so many years. I can sorta dance around it, but.... A list isn't the same thing as hearing something. & you can't really DESCRIBE music, only its effects -- you can only play it & listen. Anything more would be The Thing Itself.
Which doesn't mean I'm not gonna TRY....
& none of this Xplains my theory that the world might be a better, happier place if more people listened 2 Caravan or Gryphon or Happy the Man or Group 87 or Nick Drake. I don't know if those folks would work 4 everybody. I just know they work 4 me.
But getting at the essence of WHY they work ... well, it's been awhile since I've even TRIED that.
I can tell you that, 4 me, something is "great" or "brilliant," but that doesn't even describe the territory. I can tell you that my world would be a lesser place without...
...Caravan's gorgeous vocals, unique bubbly keyboard textures, big-band-style swing & dramatic instrumental sweep, great pop songwriting, & silly obsession with fat women.
...Happy the Man's beautiful interweaving washes of keyboard, sax, flute & guitar, & their disconnected high-tech lyrical outlook.
...Illusion's gorgeous, timeless rural-England placidity.
...The Moody Blues' perfect pop songwriting, gorgeous vocal blend, & the siren wail of the mellotron.
...Nick Drake's smoky voice, beautiful folk melodies, & his melancholy.
...Gryphon's wind-up-toy-horn sound.
...Sandy Denny's haunted voice.
...Yes's cosmic vision, & their freshness & enthusiasm in their younger days.
...ELP's confidence & bombast.
...Renaissance's gorgeous classically-influenced keyboard melodies, their poetic lyrics, & even their stuck-up prissiness at times.
...King Crimson's stunning, overwhelming presence & mood -- & their icy intelligence.
...The Beatles' insane enthusiasm up through about 1966.
...Bob Dylan's screechy, whiny voice, & his at-times hilarious lyrics. If he hadn't become a folk singer, he coulda been a stand-up comic.
...Fleetwood Mac's gorgeous, lighter-than-air group vocals in their later years ("Brown Eyes," "You Make Loving Fun"), their brave off-the-wall experiments ("Murrow Turning Over in His Grave," TUSK), & their pop hooks that grab hold & won't let go -- even if you don't wanna B sucked-in ("Dreams," "Don't Stop").
...Group 87's beautiful, life-affirming musical themes & their mix of sax, keybs & guitar.
...Gentle Giant's intricacy & cleverness, their Gregorian-chant group vocals ... & not forgetting some excellent forceful songs, no matter how tricky & obscure they get.
...Camel's gorgeous guitar & keyboard textures.
...The Beach Boys' gorgeous group vocals of course -- & Brian Wilson's firm grasp of fantasy -- whether it's an affluent Southern California suburbia (classic early-'60s hits) or a cosmic American Wild West (SMiLE).
...Genesis's gorgeous middle-period British fantasies (TRICK OF THE TAIL to -- roughly -- THREE SIDES LIVE).
...Wigwam's whimsy, & subdued power (NUCLEAR NIGHTCLUB).
...Phil Spector's perfect teen melodramas ("I Wonder," "The Best Part of Breakin' Up," "Baby I Love You," "Be My Baby," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," "River Deep, Mountain High," "There's No Other Like My Baby," "Christmas -- Baby Please Come Home," etc).
...Jefferson Airplane/Starship's science-fiction vocal chorales (FREEDOM AT POINT ZERO, "All Nite Long," "Save Your Love," "Crown of Creation," "Good Shepherd," "Mexico," etc).
...Elton John's insane enthusiasm, & the tons of potential hits he threw away ("Love Lies Bleeding," "Gray Seal," "Ballad of Danny Bailey," "(Gotta Get a) Meal Ticket," "Teacher I Need You," "Elderberry Wine," "Have Mercy on the Criminal," "Grimsby," "Ego," etc).
...& many more I can't even remember right now....
...I plan 2 keep bashing away at this, trying 2 get closer 2 why this is an obsession that I HAVE 2 keep writing about -- but in the meantime, it would B nice 2 hear from some of you out there about whether any of the music I've recommended has worked 4 you -- or even if it hasn't....
'Til next time....