In line with my last post, here's an attempt to do a "must hear before you die" list of songs by some of my favorite Strange Music artists -- with a few surprises thrown in.
The idea here is to try to sum-up an artist's career by listing a handful (or less) of signature songs that show the artist at their best or most characteristic, without which modern reality wouldn't be what it is. Whatever that is. A sort of definition, if you like.
I still think this whole "must hear before you die" premise is silly, but it does start some interesting thought processes. Onward, then.
* Amazing Blondel -- Fantasia Lindum suite, Seascape, Landscape.
* Argent -- Hold Your Head Up, Dance in the Smoke.
* Barclay James Harvest -- Hymn, Spirit on the Water, Poor Man's Moody Blues, Ring of Changes.
* Beach Boys (after 1965) -- Surf's Up, 'Til I Die, God Only Knows.
* Brewer and Shipley -- Witchi-Tai-To.
* Kate Bush -- The Man With the Child in His Eyes, This Woman's Work, Empty Bullring, Under the Ivy.
* Camel -- Sasquatch, Manic, Echoes, Breathless, Rhayader, Rhayader Goes to Town, Never Let Go.
* Can -- Father Cannot Yell, Uphill, Mother Upduff.
* Caravan -- The Dog The Dog He's at it Again, All the Way (With John Wayne's Single-Handed Liberation of Paris), For Richard (live), Dissociation, Memory Lain/Hugh/Headloss.
* Clannad -- The Wild Cry, Journey's End, In Fortune's Hand.
* Sandy Denny -- Listen Listen, The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood.
* Dixie Dregs -- Hereafter, Night Meets Light.
* Nick Drake -- Northern Sky, Pink Moon.
* Emerson, Lake and Palmer -- Fanfare for the Common Man, From the Beginning, Lucky Man, Karn Evil 9 (First Impression, Part One).
* Enya -- Storms in Africa.
* Fairport Convention -- Come All Ye, I'll Keep it With Mine.
* Genesis (middle period) -- Ripples, Madman Moon, Afterglow, Vancouver, Your Own Special Way, Like it or Not, You Might Recall.
* Gentle Giant -- Funny Ways (live), Think of Me With Kindness, His Last Voyage, On Reflection.
* Gong -- Wingful of Eyes.
* Group 87 -- One Night Away From Day, Moving Sidewalks.
* Gryphon -- Lament, Spring Song.
* Happy the Man -- Service With a Smile, Wind-Up Doll Day Wind.
* Hawkwind -- You Better Believe It.
* Illusion -- Everywhere You Go, Candles are Burning.
* Jethro Tull -- The Whistler, Living in the Past, Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day.
* Journey (strange stuff) -- Daydream, People and Places.
* Kansas -- Carry On Wayward Son, Miracles Out of Nowhere, Journey from Mariabronn, Song for America.
* King Crimson -- Epitaph, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Frame by Frame, The Great Deceiver, Red.
* Lyle Mays -- Ascent.
* Pat Metheny (Group) -- The Search, Praise, New Chatauqua.
* Moody Blues -- Nights in White Satin, Tuesday Afternoon, Question, The Story in Your Eyes, You and Me.
* The Move -- Do Ya, Message from the Country.
* Nektar -- It's All Over, Do You Believe in Magic?, King of Twilight.
* The Nice -- America.
* Mike Oldfield -- Incantations Part One, Ommadawn Part One, Tubular Bells Part One.
* Alan Parsons Project -- Some Other Time, The Gold Bug, The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.
* Pink Floyd -- High Hopes, Us and Them, Astronome Domine (live), The Great Gig in the Sky, Wish You Were Here, Money.
* Procol Harum -- Whiter Shade of Pale, Shine on Brightly, A Salty Dog.
* Providence -- If We Were Wise, Fantasy Fugue, Neptune's Door.
* Renaissance -- Northern Lights, Ashes are Burning (live, first three minutes), Rajah Khan.
* Scarlet Rivera -- Day of the Unicorn.
* Roxy Music -- The Thrill of it All, Over You, Love is the Drug.
* Todd Rundgren -- Real Man, Saving Grace, The Very Last Time (with Utopia).
* Sky -- Vivaldi, Watching the Aeroplanes.
* Steeleye Span -- Alison Gross, All Around My Hat.
* Al Stewart -- Year of the Cat, Modern Times, Running Man, Nostradamus.
* Stories -- Please Please, Love is in Motion, Words.
* Strawbs -- Where is This Dream of Your Youth? (live), Down by the Sea, Hero and Heroine, The Man Who Called Himself Jesus (live).
* Synergy -- S-Scape, Icarus, Warriors.
* Tangerine Dream -- Monolight (live), Igneous.
* Richard Thompson -- Cavalry Cross (live).
* Steve Tibbetts -- Ur.
* U.K. -- Time to Kill, In the Dead of Night suite.
* Vangelis -- Alpha, Spiral, To the Unknown Man.
* Yes -- Your Move, Roundabout, South Side of the Sky.
To be continued ... maybe....