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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Music's Best Of (to me anyway)

Have had the opportunity to do a lot of driving this week, which has led to a lot of iPod time (playing through the stereo, of course). It's made me think of a sort of "best of" list of musicians, and thought I'd share it. These are just my opinion. It would be hard for anyone to come up with "the" absolute list. Anyway, here it is. Oddly enough, most of these folks are on my iPod. Strange indeed...

  • Best Voice - One Elvis Aaron Presley. He had the most pure voice I've ever heard. It's hard to picture him ever hitting a sour note, even if he had the flu.
  • Best Guitarist - Jimi Hendrix. Man's been dead almost 40 years and he's still way ahead of his time. There's never been a sound like his and probably never will.
  • Best Guitar Solo - David Gilmour, "Comfortably Numb."
  • Best Guitar Duet - Joe Walsh and Don Felder, "Hotel California"
  • Most Influential Band - The Beatles. Single-handedly changed music with their lyrics, music producing, and many other things. You can still hear their influence in a wide variety of musical genres today.
  • Second Most Influential - Nirvana. Changed rock forever by introducing grunge to the masses. Can still hear their influence, too, though not as widespread. Hard to believe it's been almost 20 years since Never Mind came out.
  • Best Rock Lyricist - John Lennon. His lyrics were so deep the accompanying music had to be relatively simple so the masses (myself included) could follow them.
  • Best Country Lyricist - Hank Williams, Sr. He could tell a story like no other before or since.
  • Close Second - Alan Jackson. Actually think "Midnight in Montgomery" is more than just a song. Hank must have disappeared onto that bus with him.
  • Best Good Time Band - Van Halen. Just have to rock out whenever you hear one of their old songs. Eddie might not like to admit it, but Dave's wish that they play music he could dance to really helped them rise to the top. Eddie's not bad, either.
  • Best Musician/Composer - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Can't listen to his music without seeing the story in my head, even the ones without lyrics, which I can't understand anyway. Man wrote all of his operas, etc., in his head and then put them down on paper without making hardly any mistakes. Remember one of his manuscripts selling a few years ago. It was about 2 inches think and he only had one measure scratched out in the whole thing. That is simply amazing. Often wondered if it sold for so much because it was his or because of the mistake. Heard that was what made it so rare.
  • Most Eclectic Artist- The Man in Black, Mr. Johnny Cash. How many other 70+ year old men would know a Nine Inch Nails song, much less remake of one of their songs?

With the exception of Mozart and Nirvana, all are on my iPod. Would have Mozart on it, too, but cannot listen to just one of his songs. (Sort of like Lay's potato chips) Have to listen to the whole CD. Since I keep my iPod on shuffle, makes it hard to do that. Can't really explain why I've never purchased anything by Nirvana.

Sometime in the next day or two, I'm gonna talk about some of the things I've seen over the years while driving throughout our vast country. Some have been more interesting than others...to me, anyways.

On a different note, was sad to see Karl Malden died recently. Most of my generation would know him as the American Express guy from the TV commercials he did in the 70's. One of his greatest performances was of Gen. Omar Bradley in Patton. To me, that part summed up Malden's entire career. Bradley was a great general who was so down to earth you just never noticed how great he really was. The same could be said for Karl Malden's acting abilities.

Thanks for indulging me and making it to the end! Talk to you again soon!

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