Friday Fives – songs of influence edition

What is your favorite album cover? 

this one above.  In an age before p0rn, and even before the sports illustrated swimsuit issue came out, this was it.  It stands the sexy test of time, too.

What songs do you listen to when you’re down, or depressed?

This one.  Well, i learned it, so now instead of listening to it I play it on guitar.  It is a beautiful powerful song of mourning. It is an instrumental, but somehow conveys every possible feeling of death and loss to me.

I used to listen to a ton of Santana, but not in the last several years.  I grew bored of it for some reason.  Did you know that Journey came from Santana?  Not in a round about way, either.  Santana broke off and started Journey… and Carlos Santana then had to rebuild his band.  I miss Chester Thompson.  That guy was a beast on the keyboards.

What show has the best sound track?

that is a strange and interesting question which I don’t have an answer to.  I can tell you this, though.  Soundtracks are the reasons why it is so tough to get old shows released on video.  For example, when the amazing show ‘Greatest American Hero’ came out, they used great contemporary music.  Well, when they went in 30 years later to clear (buy the rights to) that music, they could not afford it.  So, every piece of music ever aired on that show had to be re-recorded with new music.

It is why SNL doesn’t put out compilation CDs of all their best music performances.  It is why you never hear the Beatles songs used for anything.  No one can afford it.

What makes an album a ‘classic’?

if the music stands the test of time.  Stuff from the 80’s took a ton of flack because of all the sync, and general over production.  However, if you strip away the crap, the songs still stand up. A perfect example of that is Colin Hay.  He is the guy from Men at Work, and has had a second career… and a better career, releasing his old songs just on acoustic guitar.  So, to me… it is if an album is still listenable after 20 or 30 years.

I don’t think this dance music will stand up well.  I guess I am old complainey guy, but it literally sounds like noise.

Here is another example.  Chris Cornell you know from Soundgarden.  He spent 20 years screaming his fucking head off.  We later found out he can sing incredibly well.  A year or two ago he put out an all acoustic album of his doing all his favorite heavy metal cuts.

Also, I tend to want something deeper and meatier.  I much prefer the long winded road trips of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti any time over Zep 4 with all the hits.  I much prefer later Beatles to the earlier Beatles stuff… as does almost everyone.  I like layers, and I think that is why Jimi Hendrix studio music has held up so well.  He was doing shit in there almost 50 years that we will can’t figure out.  Listen to Electric Ladyland with good head phones uninterrupted.  It will seriously change your life.  If you happen to have a bag of mushrooms, even better!

What is your favorite album from the past 10 years?

Well, I don’t listen to a lot of ‘new’ music at all.  What I listen to now is almost identical to what I was listening to 20 years ago.  Artists who have really impressed in the last ten years are Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Ray LaMontagne.  Or, and Brandi Carlile.  Anything from those artists and you can’t go wrong.  If I had to narrow it down, it would be Amy’s ‘Back to Black’ disc, or any of Ray’s earlier stuff.

* bonus piece of info.  I just got a mailer today from Ray’s people.  New album is done and will be out very soon.


1 thought on “Friday Fives – songs of influence edition

  1. 1. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass had a great and sexy album cover from the mid sixties. I can’t remember the name of it an I couldn’t find it. I’ll go with The J. Giels Band, “Love Stinks”
    2. Country. Dwight Yokum has great feeling down in the dumps songs.
    3. T.V. theme songs that I dig are “Barney Miller” “Night Court”, “Magnum P.I.”, “Simon and Simon”, “Good Times”, “Hill Street Blues”, “Hawaii Five-O”. Is that what you meant? By the way, a guy that wrote a lot of T.V. theme songs is a guy named Mike Post. Musical genius.
    4. I agree. It’s got to stand the test of time.
    5. I really like Pearl Jam’s new stuff. The song “Sirens” I hear on the radio recently has got the best drum sound I’ve ever heard on a studio recording.

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