Tag Archives: Simon and Garfunkel

1001 Songs Challenge: Day Thirty-Two

INTENDED FOR POSTING ON May 21st, 2014. DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, IT WAS NOT.

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Wednesday. Hump day. No matter what name you give it, the middle of the week can be a pain to get through. But hopefully, there will be some songs on this playlist to amp me back up for the weekend.

1. Into The Mystic – Van Morrison

As previously stated, I love Van Morrison. That man could play guitar and sing the phonebook, and I’d be pretty happy. “Into The Mystic” is such a charming little song, and the music has this gorgeous, slow, summertime feel to it. I find myself swaying and daydreaming about driving along the coast. It’s the perfect song. Can we have more of this for the rest of the challenge please?

2. Get Up (I Like Being a) Sex Machine – James Brown

This is such a bold, in-your-face song, with a definite style. James Brown is outgoing, and his unique ability to get the crowd involved makes this song fun to listen to. I feel like this should be a song people should listen to before they go out or when they wake up in the morning, just for an energetic jolt.

3. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Instrumentally, I found this track pretty enjoyable. The harmonies are also really impressive, although it does feel a bit much occasionally throughout the song’s timing. It’s still an interesting listen, but after James Browns’s fantastic jolt, it falls a bit flat.

4. The Only Living Boy In New York – Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were seriously talented, and here’s a song that showcases that talent beautifully. I love the acoustic vibe, and the  storytelling aspect of the lyrics. Seriously, give it a listen, and tell me you don’t fall in love.

5. In a Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson

Rod Stewart is a guest vocalist on this track, the band’s most famous song. There is a definite power to his voice, especially when paired with the moody instrumental, with its raging guitar solo. I must admit, I found myself in awe, wanting to listen again and again.

6. Oh Lonesome Me – Neil Young

Just as the title would suggest, this is a definite sad song for the ages. If you’re looking to throw yourself a bit of a pity party, this is the anthem for you, my friend. While I love it for the emotion that is brilliantly conveyed, it’s a bit of a downer, even with its great beats.

7. 54-46 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

A prison/protest anthem for the ages, there is something so soulful and rebellious in this song’s spirit. It’s the awakening of the punk era slowly coming into life. I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this, but I found myself enamored with it.

8. Working Class Hero – John Lennon

The third Beatle whose solo work is featured over the last two days. Half-spoken, half-sung, the vocals on this track aren’t incredible by any means, but I think it’s more of the lyrical narrative that people fall in love with when hearing this song. There is a power to his commentary on how the world will beat you down and then tell you to get up and make a decision, no matter its effect. It’s a fantastic social commentary that wakes people up by shattering the illusion they have been spoon fed since birth.

9. Box of Rain – The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead always reminds me of high school journalism class. My love for this band was something my teacher and I initially bonded over, as she had a Grateful Dead poster by the board. If you don’t listen to this track and fall in love, there is something terribly the matter. The vocals aren’t perfect, but they’re wonderful because they’re flawed.

10. Life On Mars? – David Bowie

Once again, who doesn’t love David Bowie? There is a dream-like quality to this song that is entrancing. It seems so ambiguous, in a sense that almost anyone could find something to latch onto in regards to meaning.

 

Today’s playlist was interesting, to say the least. There was an eclectic mix of tunes to enjoy, which kept me intrigued from track one onwards. At least I survived the middle of the week, that sneaky bump in the road.

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day 26

 

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Feeling a little revitalized, I’m happy to jump into Day 26, especially as I see some tracks I love. It’s this time period (the late-60s) that I’m really hearing a departure from the music of the 50s, moving progressively, and evolving into the sound of the 70s.

 

1. Oh Happy Day – The Edwin Hawkins Singers

A classic song in its own right. I think we all know that beautiful choral arrangement that echoes the lead vocals, like a delicious after-taste of a yummy treat. I might not be religious, but even I can appreciate the stunning vocal arrangements of this song, and I love the soulful feeling it has.

2. Israelites – Desmond Dekker and The Aces

What a fantastic track. I didn’t understand how the book could say people didn’t understand a lot of what Desmnd Dekker was singing about and/or that the accent was difficult to understand. What’s not to get? Plus, how can you misunderstand a man who can control his vocals as well as Dekker.

3. Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell, the Rhinestone Cowboy, is someone I could listen to all day. I grew up with his music being played just as often as Julio Iglasias’s. “Wichita Lineman” has such a beautiful melody to it, and the instrumentation is perfection. It’s a perfect love song.

4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

The vocals on this track, the attitude, the personality, is unbelievable. This is the type of song you can’t help but adore. It is pure perfection.

5. America – Simon and Garfunkel

The thing I love most about this song? The humming harmonies. I also have to admit that it is just a beautiful track in general. It seems to document the happy beginning to the sad ending.

6. Ain’t Got No; I Got Life – Nina Simone

I don’t really know how to explain why I love this song, but I do. It’s so beautiful in how melancholy it appears and how optimistic it really is. Nina Simone’s vocals and piano playing are stunning and really round out the track, making it as memorable as it is.

7. Piece of My Heart – Big Brother & The Holding Company

Oh, take another little piece of my heart now baby! Oh! Take another little piece of my heart!…You know you’ve got it, if it makes you feel good.” This track is one that a good amount of people have grown up singing along to, even as children. It’s catchy as hell, and it is a true classic and really solidified Janis Joplin as a great singer.

8. Say It Loud–I’m Black and I’m Proud – James Brown

So brilliant, especially when you consider the political infusion and meaning behind the lyrics. As said before, anything to do with James Brown seems to be magic.

9. Hard To Handle – Otis Redding

I love Otis Redding. He is brilliant. This song is no exception. Once again, artists approached topics we are so familiar with in media now, but they approached it with what I consider to be a bit more class. Granted, at the time, I’m sure people looked at them the same as we might look at modern artists, but this song is sexy without being explicit.

10. A minha menina – Os Mutantes

This is not a favorite of mine, but I love the instrumentals too much to even think about shutting it off; the hand-clapping, the vocal harmonies, and the beats are gorgeous. I just wish that the lead vocals sounded a bit stronger.

 

So that’s all for Day 26. Overall, I liked this group of songs…I may have even gone a bit mad on iTunes and bought a few of them.

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Nineteen

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A long day, a playlist to listen to, and tired eyes that weren’t in the mood. When I logged on to do this blog post, I was partly excited to do something that didn’t make my brain want to explode, but another part of me as desperate for sleep. But this playlist kept me going for the rest of the night (that and the Kill Cliff I had earlier).

1. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) – Otis Redding
A great love song, with an honesty that is irresistible. It’s a vulnerable, emotionally raw plea, carried by Redding’s ability to take each line to the next level. Plus, it’s great to sing along to on a long drive.
2. Stop! In The Name of Love – The Supremes
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t sang to the hook of this song. It truly is a classic. The Supremes really set the standard for what a girl group should be, and every girl group that has followed really seems to stand in their shadow.
3. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan
We’ve already spoken about what an icon Bob Dylan is. This song is an amazing social commentary, with a pace to it that makes it even more fun. The video for this quick little diddy is like a condensed lyric video, and may be where this sudden surge of minimalistic lyric videos have come from.
4. The Sounds of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
I will never know how I really feel about this song, because it really depends on my mood; some days, I think it’s musical genius, and other days, it is on my list of Most Annoying Songs Ever. Today, thankfully, I’m in the mood that says it’s musical genius, with a lyrical depth that is enviable.
5. My Generation – The Who
Ahh, The Who. Got to love them, and I definitely love this song. It’s a musical time capsule for the 60s, and The Who had a certain ability to capture a movement beautifully. They were an amazing band who have influenced multiple generations, managing to become timeless. I especially love that part in this song: “Why don’t you all just fff….fade away…”
6. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
Yes, the song from that awkward moment with the pottery clay in Ghost. Take that historic scene out of your mind, and it’s easy to admit that this song is gorgeous. The vocal ability showcased is stunning.
7. Et moi et moi et moi – Jacques Dutronc
Hurray for French Rock and Roll! Let’s start a revolution! Nowadays, this song has been featured on its fair share of commercials, but thankfully, it hasn’t slipped into the Annoying Commercial Jingle Zone yet.
8. Stay With Me – Lorraine Ellison
Stunning. Each line has a vulnerability and power to it that will send shivers up your spine, especially as Ms. Ellison hits that high note in the pre-chorus and then again in the chorus, when her plea becomes more and more desperate.
9. Al-atlal – Umm Kulthum
A beautiful song in Arabic about love lost. The metaphors in each verse are the stuff of pure poetry, and what every lyricist should aspire to.
10. You’re Gonna Miss Me – The Thirteenth Floor Elevators
So much style and charisma. So much attitude. This makes for a great breakup anthem. Please ditch the Taylor Swift tunes and send this to your most recent ex as a grand, final gesture of “screw you,” as packs a very powerful punch.

Overall, Day Nineteen incorporated some of that soul I love so much about the 60s, which made for a great playlist. The shift in what songwriters seemed comfortable talking about slowly seems to coming into play as well.

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