Category Archives: Rock

Led Zeppelin – Kashmir (1975)

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A delayed comment, but what is there to say? Jimmy Page cited this track when asked about his view on the greatest Zeppelin riff of all. The hypnotic signature tune from their 1975 album Physical Grafitti wasn’t just about the guitar. Bonham’s titanic drums and the progressive mellotron section are unmistakably from another planet.

Have a great summer all. No doubt there will be the odd post here an there, but I am officially signing off for August. See you on the other side.

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The Kinks – Strangers (1970)

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Beloved by diehard Kinks fans, ‘Strangers’ featured on their 1970 LP Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, but was never released as a single. The Dave Davies line “If I live too long, I’m afraid I’ll die” was inspired by his old school friend George Harris. They were going to start a band, but Harris succumbed to bad habits and eventually died of a meth overdose. “Strangers on this road we are on/we are not two we are one.”

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Beirut – Elephant Gun (2007)

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Ten years ago, Beirut were in their pomp. Originally a musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon, the band’s first performance was in New York in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar. By January 2007,  they carried their critical acclaim into the release of their first EP Lon Gisland. Its opening track ‘Elephant Gun’ again combined elements of indie rock and world music so successfully. Prodigious stuff; Condon was still only 20. Have a great week.

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Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Hey Hey, My My (Out of the Blue) (1979)

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Neil Young wrote ‘My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)’ with its rocking counterpart ‘Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)’ as bookends for his 1979 album Rust Never Sleeps. As the second part of the famous line goes: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Young had tapped into his encounters with Devo and an appreciation of the punk ethic to reach a new audience.

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David Bowie – Be My Wife (1977)

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As David Bowie got more experimental, his singles became less successful, but no less influential. 40 years ago (19 June 1977) this month, ‘Be My Wife’ was the 2nd and final single release from the ground-breaking album Low, the first of the so-called Berlin Trilogy. It failed to chart but was frequently played during his live sets due to his predilection for the sound. The ragtime intro still stands out.

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Paolo Nutini – Candy (2009)

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Singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini’s sophomore effort, Sunny Side Up, is a relatively easy listening affair. However, within it are some standout moments.  The single ‘Candy’ is full of the type of blue-eyed soul rock that fans of Van Morrison and John Martyn will appreciate. “I’m a heartless man at worst, babe/And a helpless one at best.”

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The Charlatans – Loving You Is Easy (2004)

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The Charlatans have been touring. ‘Loving You Is Easy’ is off their eighth album Up At The Lake. It was the band’s only album to have never received a US release. Tim Burgess gives us his soul on this piano ballad, helped by keyboard player Tony Rodgers who shares the vocals.

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Kings Of Leon – Wicker Chair (2003)

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When the Kings Of Leon debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, hit the shelves in 2003, it was a sensation with the UK music press. Their potential had been heralded earlier in the year by their first pressing, an EP entitled Holy Roller Novocaine. The record contained ‘Wicker Chair’ – a gem of track, with its simple country melody and hook. Until its close, it belies the raucous blues/punk that would take them to the top over the next 5 years.

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The Beatles – Flying (1967)

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A midweek interlude, the instrumental ‘Flying’ is one of the handful of tracks credited to all four mop tops. It first appeared on the 1967 LP Magical Mystery Tour, full of mellotron, guitar, bass, maracas, drums and tape loops. Far out.

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The Cult – Love Removal Machine (1987)

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The Cult’s 1987 album Electric may not have been as exceptional as its predecessor, but it did something that Love had not achieved; it broke America. The album’s calling card ‘Love Removal Machine’ said it all. Listen and think Steppenwolf, AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. At the hands of Rick Rubin, Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury has shed their successful post-punk goth sound for the wider appeal of pure, unadulterated rock. Have a great week.

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Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love (1969)

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This song needs no introduction. Have a great week.

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LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police (2017)

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LCD Soundsystem have returned in the last week with ‘Call the Police’, a seven-minute ode to the sounds of David Bowie and U2. This is a welcome step off the dancefloor from my perspective. However, Mr James Murphy is evidently upset about something: “Well, there’s a full-blown rebellion but you’re easy to confuse/ By triggered kids and fakers and some questionable views,” he sings. The song is the lead single from the band’s upcoming new album – date and name TBC. Have a great week.

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Marah – Round Eye Blues (2000)

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For a while there in the late 1990s, Marah were the heirs apparent to Bruce Springsteen. Formed by singer-guitarist brothers Dave and Serge Bielanko, the band developed a reputation for their Boss-like live shows. The release of their second album, Kids in Philly, cemented this reputation, and no more so than in their delivery of ‘Round Eye Blues’.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2000

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2000 in no particular order:

Radiohead – Idioteque

Blonde Redhead ‎- For The Damaged

Lambchop – Up With The People

The Avalanches – Since I Left You

Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – Intro

Outkast – Ms. Jackson

Marah – Round Eye Blues

Richard Ashcroft – A Song For The Lovers

Phoenix – Too Young

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Honourable mentions also go to: Grandaddy for ‘He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot‘; Erykah Badu for ‘Didn’t Cha Know‘; Daft Punk for ‘One More Time‘; Augie March for ‘The Hole In Your Roof‘; Missy Elliott for ‘Get Ur Freak On‘; D’Angelo for ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)‘; and Edu K for his remix of Otto’s ‘Bob‘.

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Fleetwood Mac – Dreams (1977)

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Is this really the first song I’ve featured off the Fleetwood Mac’s off-the-chart success Rumours? Unsurprisingly, it is one of Stevie Nicks’ showpiece sounds ‘Dreams’. This time she takes aim at her strained relationship with Lindsey Buckingham; what they’d had and what they’d lost. Classic. The sound of 1977.

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