Sunday, 17 February 2019

The Best Record Ever?


We are always seeing polls about the greatest record, album , song , gig ever and people often ask me what was my favourite bit of some performance. My answer is almost always that I can't give an answer. I have a lot of  artists that I like and a lot of albums that I enjoy listening to over and over again but I am always open to new ideas. Having said that if you were to posit that Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was the finest piece every written I wouldn't argue against that.

I'm a great fan of Bob Dylan , Van Morrison , Tom Waits , Nick Drake and then I like Yes , Pink Floyd , Pop Will Eat Itself and Genesis . The list is very very long. I love Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland" but while probably "1983" is my favourite song , his take on "All Along The Watchtower" would be my favourite single of choice because it combines Hendrix's voice and playing with some excellent Dylan lyrics. The thing is "Elect Ladyland"'s predecessors are both amazing albums as well.

So I've hardly started and there is so much I could say. My favourite album of all time is Spirit's "Future Games" followed by "El Dorado" by the Electric Light Orchestra. "Future" Games" also contains a Spirit take on "All Along The Watchtower".

Going back to Dylan maybe "Lily,Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts" is by favourite song and is from "Blood on the Tracks" but then songs like "Desolation Row" and "Tempest" are wonderful (and long) songs.

I am also a fan of keeping it simple, and while it's amazing to play a million notes a second, if you can make one note interesting, then that is true genius. The Coasters' "I'm A Hog For You Baby" and "Tommy Gun" by The Clash both contain one note guitar solos. Added to this songs that just contain one or two chords mean that anyone can play them m Van Morrison wrote "Gloria" and Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner" gets away with two chords.

I was writing this as an excuse to share The Avalanches "Frontier Psychiatrist" a totally dumbfounding patchwork of samples that solicitors gave up trying to sue for. Is is comedy ? Is it pop? I haven't a clue but it sounds amazing and the video is wonderful too, another example of musical genius and while it is a favourite of mine I really still can't tell you what my favourite is.

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