Music That I am Listening To
Free As A Bird by John Lennon
This definitely has to be on the list. My go to song when I am going back home from work. I feel "free as a bird" just for that few minutes that he sings, I really do feel free. I love John Lennon. a brilliant singer and musician. I love how this song and its melody is composed, it is so simple yet it brings so much great feelings in me just from the opening of the song with his piano.
I don't think this song is as well known as his other songs such as Imagine, Come Together (which is with The Beatles, but let's face it, John owned it!), etc. I cannot find any clear version of this song, I think it is not even available anywhere. Even the one I have on my playlist is not really that great. This song was recorded by john on casette and was never properly released, I guess die hard fans knew of it and had a bootleg versions of it. I cannot find the anthology version which won a grammy on youtube. But this is the best I could find on youtube. It is just John and His organ, beautiful, haunting, amazing, not enough words can describe his talent. I am sure the other three beatles were trying their best not to get to teary eyed as they heard this during the making of Anthology. Enjoy:
Free As A Bird By John Lennon
Slash- Safari Inn
I don't know how frustrating it was for Slash fans in the 1980s and 90s when they bought a cassette of Guns n Roses just to listen to his awesome guitar solos, they had to press forward and rewind to precision just so they can hear the solo. Probably the most magical soloing Slash did in that era was the ending of November Rain, I don't know who came up with that brilliant idea of slash standing on top of a piano in the November Rain video, the church, the funeral, the raunchy backsinger girls, and then slash standing on the piano and making his guitar scream and cry. It was mindblowing. Here is a clip of it, go straight to the 7th minute to see what I am talking about, they just don't make it like they used to:
As far as Guns n Roses were concerned I never really cared much for Axl Rose and his high pitched vocals. Slash was my man. And when they released Chinese Democracy I was ecstatic at first but got disappointed straight away when I knew Slash was not there, I did not even bother.
I love his dark style and amazing talent. No one can wear a top hat like Slash does, he pretty much made sure that if any rocker comes on stage wearing a top hat they will immediately be described as a slash impersonator. Just the same way if any four guys gets on stage weaaring a tailored suit and moppy hair will immediately be described as a Beatles impersonator. No other rockstar get to wear a top hat. Only Slash gets to wear them.
But November Rain, as awesome as it is, is not really the track I am talking about. After Guns N Roses fell apart, Slash pretty much disappeared from mainstream media, as far as I was concerned. Then rock music just became more and more pathetic.
I think Slash saw how pathetic it became and said "Let me show these kids how it is done." and he started making albums with his name on it! He has released 3 albums under his name so far. The last being World On Fire. My favourite track in the album is Safari Inn. Which is a heavy rock instrumental, it is beautiful how it starts like slow blues jam on steroids and then spreads it wings and becomes this epic guitar instrumental track. Beautiful.
Whipping Post- Allman Brothers Band (The Fillmore East Version)
The Allman Brothers is probably the most versatile rock band ever to grace the planet of this earth. To say that they are a typical hillbilly southern rock/country band would be doing them a great injustice. Also the fact that their only song to become number 1 on the charts is "Ramblin Man" which is a typical country song, does not help their reputation as versatile musicians. Any person who has ever tried listening to these guys know damn well that they are way more than that.
The Allman Brothers made great albums, but even greater than their albums were their live performance, which was full of complex improvisations between the two guitarist, Duane Allman and Dicky Betts, The album version of Whipping Post is great. But no one can deny that magic was happening at the Fillmore East on stage when they played Whipping Post. Thankfully this act was recorded and made into a live album titled At The Fillmore East.
The Fillmore East version of the Whipping Post is a whopping 23 minutes long. That is 23 minutes of Duane and Dicky changing turns as lead guitarists, while drummers (yes plural) Jaimoe and Butch Trucks with Bassist Berry Oakley providing the right tempo and beats for those two guitar gods. Unfortunately I cannot find any videos of this version of Whipping Post. So you will just have to trust me on how good it is or you can buy the album.
All Along The Watchtower- Jimi Hendrix
This song was originally written and released by Bob Dylan, and then one fine day Jimi Hendrix came along, heard it and made it his own. Very few times in the history of music is the cover more famous and lauded than the original. This is one of those few instances.
What blew everyone's mind is Jimi Hendrix guitar play over here, he was the person who made the wah-wah pedal popular, Eric Clapton started using it in his Cream albums, particularly in the White Room track. This track is constantly, and rather unsuprisingly, in the top 5 of The Best Guitar solo lists.
This was made at the height of the psychedelic, hippy, 1960s era. The height of the British Invasion. Beatles released Sgt Peppers, Jimi released Electric Ladyland which featured this song, and Cream released Disraeli Gears. All which were the best albums of the respective bands. I can only imagine what the summer of 67 was like. It was the harvesting season of the British Invasion era, if you catch my drift. So here is one of my favorite tracks from the harvesting season.
Stairway To Heaven- Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Yes, THAT Stairway To Heaven. Stairway To Heaven is definitely on my playlist, but I did not feel the need to write about that over here, because judging from the songs that I have mentioned above it could not not be in my playlist. It is understood is what I am saying. This particular Stairway to Heaven, however, I need to talk about.
Rodrigo y Gabriela hails from Mexico, they are known for their very complex and speedy acoustic guitar play and I don't think anyone can play the guitar the way they do. It is very unique. Gabriela does not just use the guitar as a musical instrument but she also uses it as a percussion. The beats that you can hear in many of their tracks are produced with Gabriella's guitar play. I don't know how she does it. All I know is that because of her extensive work she had to have her wrist operated on, after that she resigned. Kidding! NO they are still performing like nobody's business.
They did not exactly "cover" Stairway To Heaven. They more like made it their own thing. Slippery ice I know, but from the looks of it they are pretty good at ice skating and they pretty much nailed it.
Please note however, Rodrigo y Gabriela is more than just this particular track, this is simply one of their many tracks of their that I love. I suggest you check out their other works, I promise you will not be disappointed
New One by Rodrigo y Gabriela
I shall end this Hub with one of my favorite tracks, I listen to it every other day and have been listening to it since the past few months, it is also by Rodrigo y Gabriela, and I feel this hub would not be complete if I did not include this here.
Funny thing about this particular track, I used to always skip it when I was listening to the album, because I did not like the opening and simply assumed it would be more or less like that through out.
So one day I thought "let us just give it a shot and see where it goes, they are always full of surprises after all." Boy did I do the right thing. It has been my favorite track on the album ever since. It is a slow instrumental that I feel is just beautiful. This is called New One it is taken from their album called Re-Foc. Enjoy: