Sunday, October 23, 2005

Favorite 20 Songs for My Son.

My son asked my wife and I to provide him a list of our favorite 20 songs when we were his age (senior in HS). It took about 10 minutes for me to compile my list, and it could have easily contained probably 200 songs. We like and remember songs for various reasons, i.e. significant experiences such as military, college, early years of marriage. I am listing my 20 in no particular order.

The Weight/I Shall Be Released - The Band
US 1968 single for the The Band's debut album "Music from Big Pink", with "The Weight". The artists are listed as Robertson, Danko, Manuel, Hudson, Helm, this was before "The Band" became the group's name. Label: Capitol, Catalog #P2269 (promotional single) and 2269, Year: 1968 - Released September 1968 in the US and reached #63 on US Charts and #21 in the UK.

Let It Be - The Beatles
The Beatles thirteenth album was also their last. Let It Be was issued in Britian on PXI on May 8, 1970 as part of a special boxed package which also included the glossy book The Beatles Get Back. When it was issued in America on Atlantic Records (AR) 34001 on May 18, 1970, it had the highest advance sales on record for that time - a total 3,700,000. A film by the same title was produced as well.

Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
From the album, "The Second" which was a follow-up to their enormously successful first album release titled: "Steppenwolf". This landmark first album contained the songs, "Born to be Wild", "Sookie Sookie", "The Pusher", later used in the movie "Easy Rider", and "Hootchie Cootchie Man". The next album, which contained "Magic Carpet Ride" was titled simply "The Second" and also was produced in 1968, Label: ABC Dunhill/50037, artist: Steppenwolf, words and music by John Kay and Rushton Moreve. John Kay commented "The Second was a record full of experimentation. It was started a few short months after the first album Steppenwolf was released. At that time we were contractually obligated to record two albums a year. That pressure, along with our greatly increased touring schedule, TV show appearances, etc, quickly had us behind schedule".

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
From the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road released in 1973, produced by Gus Dudgeon, recorded at Strawberry Studios in Chateau D'Heirouville, France, May 1973, Music by Elton John, Lyrics by Bernie Taupin. Includes other notable songs such as Candle In The Wind, Bennie And The Jets, Saturday NIght's Alright (For Fighting).

Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
From the album Are You Experienced which was The Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album. Even after Jimi Hendrix's death in London on September 18, 1970 from drug-related complications, this was the most sold of his albums, and remained so for 20 years. Hey Joe was released as a single also on Monday, May 1. 1967, Reprise Records, 0572. Hey Joe was the first single Jimi Hendrix released and it went to #6 and lasted ten weeks on the U.K. charts.Are You Experienced was released on Wednesday, August 23, 1967, Reprise Records, 6261 and contained other notable Hendrix songs as Purple Haze, Manic Depression, The Wind Cries Mary, Foxy Lady.In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the voacbulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. He coupled hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship - he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire - which some believed obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, RB, and rock styles. It was in a New York Club, most likely Max's Kansas City, the Bitter End or the Cafe Au-go-go (all Greenwich Village clubs) that Hendrix was spotted by Animals bassist Chas Chandler. The first line-up of the Animals was about to split, and Chandler, looking to move into management, convinced Hendrix to move to Londo and record as a solo act in England. There a group was built around Jimi, also featuring Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding on bass, that was dubbed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The trio became stars with astonishing speed in the U.K. where "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," and "The Wind Cires Mary" all made the Top Ten in the first half of 1967. These tracks were also featured on their debut album, Are You Experienced, a psychedelic meisterwerk that became a huge hit in the U.S. after Hendrix created a sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967. The following year Hendrix released "Electric Ladyland" which ranks as one of the greatest albums of the rock era. Jimi Hendrix appeared at Woodstock in the summer of 1969 and many famous pictures depict him onstage at this festival playing his 1968 Fender Stratocaster.