Is There Anything Better Than Good Music?
Other than family, is there anything better than good music? As a lover of music I have always been a collector and through the years I have collected thousands of albums, CD’s, and now digital recordings. I have my favorites, but in the end good music is good music regardless of whether it is the genre you prefer or not. Music crosses all cultural, racial, and social economic lines. It reminds us of good time, bad times, and times in between.
As a young boy I can remember when I first heard the Beatles and though I knew little about music at the time, I knew that they were special. As a teenager I remember spending summer nights at my friends home and we would fall asleep singing along to stacks of Motown LP’s sitting on the turn table.
As a newly wed living in Europe my wife and I would spend ours with all our records on the living room floor and randomly picking out that special song or songs from each album or when we could afford it, we’d wonder the streets of Paris and Madrid a went into different clubs listening to live music from bands like U-2, the Scorpions, Dire Straights,and Duran Duran before anyone even knew who they were.
I mention all this only to impress upon you how much I love music. So this sites is going to be about how I wish I had been in studio or at a live event when some of my favorites were recorded. Also I will mention some of my top 10 list but when it comes to music, I’d be press to have a top 100 list, because just when you think you have the top 100, you’s remember on e or two you’d left out.
My Top 5 Studio Masterpieces
1. The Beatles- second side of Abbey Road: including the following songs
Because- You Never Give Me Your Money- Sun King- Mean Mr. Mustard-Polythene Pam- She Came In Through The Bathroom Window- Golden Slumbers- Carry That Weight- The End. This is so good that even though the George Harrison classic “Here Comes the Sun” is the first song on the side I don’t include it.
2. Crosby, Stills,& Nash-Suite Judy Blue Eyes- The original studio version of this great vocal and acoustic group from the 70’s. I just love the vocal harmonies, the acoustic guitars and Stephen Stills Singing in Spanish at the end. If this is not my favorite it’s in the top three of times I wish I had been in the studio watching this being recorded.
3. Derek and the Domino’s- Layla featuring Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jim Gordon and others. The song includes Slide guitar solos from Clapton and Allman, and the signature piano part which had been composed separately by Jim Gordon after hearing the song played on guitar by Clapton.
4. Mercy Mercy Me/I want You- Robert Palmer released this great R&B medly and it’s a great one to listen to. Not sure Marvin Gaye could have sung it better.
5. Led Zepellin- Stairway to Heaven- Who of those among you who are old enough and play the guitar did not learn, just you could play this song. I surely did.
5 Favorite live performances ( I know there are more than 5 but these are some of my favorites )
1.Turn of the Century-YES- This is a great song with with Steve Howe featuring his guitar skills on the classical, electric, and steel pedal guitars.
2. Live at Wembly Stadium- Queen- Radio Gaga- It’s amazing to see and hear the stadium as one.
3. Thunder Road- Bruce Springsteen- My favorite Bruce performance ever
4. The original Woodstock Album- Soul Sacrifice by the then unknown guitarist Carlos Santana and his band.A relative unknown band outside of the San Francisco bay area at the time, Santana’s performance was arguably the best at Woodstock.
5. And Finally who wouldn’t have wanted to be on the rooftop of the Apple Studios when the Beatles performed for about 20 minutes before the bobbies pulled the plug on them. Sadly it was their last live performance as a group. If you look closely you can catch glimpses of Billy Preston on the keyboards.
10 of my favorite studio albums ( I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite 100)
1. The Beatles- The White Album
2. Yes- Close to the Edge
3. Robbie Robertson- Showdown at Big Sky
4. What’s Going On?- Marvin Gaye
5. Led Zeppelin-Physical Graffiti
6. Steely Dan- The Royal Scam
7. Genesis- Then There Were Three
8. The Police- Ghost in the Machine
9. Asia- ASIA
10. Born to Run- Bruce Springsteen
10 Favorite Live Albums/CD’s
2. Scorpions -Acoustica- A heavy metal band doing all their great songs acoustically great performance.
3.Yes- YES SONGS- Live performances of their early classics with their best lineup
4. Led Zeppelin- The Song Remains the Same- Live performance at Madison Square Gardens
5. AC/DC- If you want Blood- Early live AC/DC with Bon Scott on Vocals. There is a great version of “The Jack” on this album.
6. The Band- The Last Waltz
7. Tom Petty- Pack Up the Plantation
8. Niel Young- Live Rust- Neal Young at his best both electric and acoustic
9. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live 1975-85 Great live recording the Live version of “thunder road” is my favorite Springsteen recording.
10. Cold Play- Live 2012 studio and live performances