Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Unloved Gold (60's)

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Doing this episode has been a shameful experience for me, as it has made me realise how little I know about these excellent bands. I’ve had their music for ages and known all along that they’re good, yet never given them the time they deserve. So when I went to pick songs to use, I was repeatedly slapped in the face by my ignorance. Going through their catalogues of great music to find the best would simply take too long. Similarly using other people’s suggestions would be a shallow representation, as it would just be pushing my bullshitting skills to an all-new height. Instead I’m going to present the songs that I have always known, in many cases the popular favourites, which while not be the best, are great nonetheless. And for the future I encourage you to go out and listen to these artists in more depth for while you may think you know them you…er…might not….so do it!

The Kinks – You Really Got Me
This song is known far and wide yet it really is a misrepresentation of the main musical stylings. But then come to think of it no song could sum them up due their rather wide variety of output. So ignore what I just said and note this – The Kinks are silly. Listening to many of their songs you can imagine them being seamlessly integrated into a playschool skit. Thankfully we all know that genius can often be found in the simplest and silliest music, something The Kinks manage to pull off, creating some truly compelling listening.

Donovan – Get Thy Bearings
For so long I knew this song and nothing else, for so long I Knew Dononvan but didn’t really. For while this song is great and remains cherished, listening to his other music has shown me how good he is. While I never previously thought it plausible I would have to say that Donovan is one of the top 5 60’s artists you NEED to know. A list, that for reasons that should not be taken for granted, could never really be compiled. A truly great songwriter and/or storyteller is he.

Creedance Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
This band is the absolute favourite of my uncle. Why would a man, at prime listening age during the golden 1960’s have picked this band out of the many?
Well because they’re good. Releasing six great albums in just two and a half years they managed to include just as much quality as they did quantity. John Fogerty, to which most credit can be accredited had a knack for creating clean and simple American rock n roll. Not only do they have many well-known hits such as this but they have so much more just waiting to be discovered.

The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
Arguably the one band big enough to pose any challenge to The Beatle’s spot at the top of the ladder, they are more of a cult favourite thanks to their dark and dirty, ‘in your face’ nature in comparison to the generally family-friendly latter. However their underground status has become more mainstream in recent years with Mick Jagger appearing left, right and centre despite his stereotypically ugly British appearance. While he may be big and influential, I really can’t see the justification behind knighting him, what with all his glorification of sex and drugs and not to mention sympathy for the devil. Though one thing’s for sure, they are indeed big and influential, made clear by their ability to sell a stadium’s worth of tickets starting at prices higher than even the biggest bands would ever dream of. You don’t want to know how much it costs to both hear AND see them.

Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
My decision to use this song came seconds before all decisions were set in stone with it taking the place of the more upbeat “Highway 61”. For I feel this is a much betterer summation of what he’s about. The folk legend, the documenter, the commentator and often the epitome of American unrest is Bob Dylan. His voice may not be the greatest and he defies all the pop conventions but this what makes him good. Well actually a better voice wouldn’t hurt but this is irrelevant, his musical craftsmanship and lyrical genius allow him to make the strangely pleasant music he’s renowned for. This song in particular is great example of his deep ballads laced with brilliant melodies and a lovable straining voice.

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