And now, as they say in Monty Python, for something completely different (from my usual twaddle).
I was thinking recently about the music that floored me and changed me and my perception of music. It's happened to me several times. In order...
The Ventures — Prior to their classic instrumental Walk Don't Run, like most kids I was primarily interested in pop vocals. They got me interested in the electric guitar. I've enjoyed electric guitar music ever since. However, while I've owned a few electric guitars over the years, I've never...well, let's just say I'm no Jimi Hendrix.
Lonnie Mack — His big hit Memphis introduced me to funky guitar. His down home mix of gospel, country, R&B, and rock music as displayed on the classic album The Wham of that Memphis Man inspired Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Howard Roberts — In rough parallel with my interest in Lonnie Mack, I discovered that there were funky jazz guitarists, too. HR's slinky style of "greasy" guitar is still a pleasure (for me) to listen to.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band — Powered by Butterfield's electrifying (and electrified) "blues harp" (aka harmonica) and Michael Bloomfield's unique electric slide guitar stylings, this was my introduction to electric urban blues Chicago-style. And that led me to many other electric blues discoveries such as the phenomena of British blues and Texas-style blues a la Johnny Winter.
Jimi Hendrix — What can I say. The whole world of rock music changed when his Are You Experienced? album was released with the great hits Foxy Lady and Purple Haze. There are many faster and better guitarists in terms of technique (Steve Vai, Buckethead, Tony McAlpine), but he was, many say, the first musician to play electric guitar vs. merely electrified guitar. If he'd done nothing other than All Along The Watchtower he'd be in guitar pantheon forever, but he gave us so much more.
Baden Powell — No, not his namesake, the founder of The Boy Scouts. This Baden Powell was a Brazilian guitarist/singer/composer who created a unique blend of classical, flamenco, and jazz guitar infused with native Brazilian rhythms, backup instruments, and melodies. I was once asked for my "desert island 10"... Ten albums I'd want to have to play if I found myself stranded on a desert island (a very strange desert island with an electrical system). I even surprised myself by saying "Any 10 Baden Powell albums." Yes, his music is that listenable. If his was the only music I had for the rest of my life, I'd never grow bored.
There's my list. Where's yours?
Oh me too, Unseen, me too. Sometimes when all else fails, I secrete myself in solitary confinement and play a Pink Floyd medley of albums until my brain feels "combed" again, rather than an unruly mess, and I feel the most incredibly lucky person to have been born at a time when Pink Floyd were writing music. I don't think I can pick a favourite, because it depends on my circumstances - but I do know that Pink Floyd are my top band of all time.
I'd find it very hard to pick just one favorite Pink Floyd tune. But if I absolutely had to pick one, it might be Wish You Were Here.
That is the track that introduced me to Pink Floyd! As such it has a special place in my heart. Another one I really really like is Fearless, from the Meddle album.
You say the hill's too steep to climb,
You say you'd like to see me try,
You pick the place and I'll choose the time
And I'll climb
The hill in my own way
just wait a while, for the right day
And as I rise above the treeline and the clouds
I look down hear the sound of the things you said today
Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd, smiling
Merciless, the magistrate turns 'round, frowning
and who's the fool who wears the crown
Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fearlines in his frown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd
The tracks above aren't meant to be the best of the respective artists necessarily. It would be hard to pick any one Pink Floyd album as the best. Lapse is fantastic. The entire body of music from this group is magnificent. Musically Pink Floyd is in a class by itself. Phish's style while distinctive is reminiscent of Pink Floyd moreso than any other group I've heard.
Yes, and I'd say you're right. There is one difference though: Phish never set out to emulate Pink Floyd.
I went to a lot of Phish concerts. I started back when you could buy tickets the day of the show and still throw your blanket down right in front of the stage or end up with seats in the first couple of rows. Then Jerry Garcia died. Suddenly every Phish concert was a roiling sea of wasted junkies and I never got anywhere near them again.
This is probably my favorite Phish track if I absolutely had to pick one. It's rather Floyd-like, although not on purpose.
Artist: Phish | Track: What's the Use?
Black Sabbath and Ozzy (early)
Pink Floyd (with Syd Barrett)
Weird Al - My kids were pre-teens when Running with Scissors was released. We "parent-child bonded" with his music.
B. B. King
The Beatles - Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album
Yes - Close to the Edge and The Yes Album