Nov 24, 2006

Homage

I can't refrain myself from posting on music.Its the only obsession i have got ( not movies, not football , not boozing :D ) . And I noticed that I haven't posted anything about The Gods themselves so this is dedicated to all my favourite bands!
And obviously everything starts with Pink Floyd. You don't get bored of eating, you don't get bored of sleeping,you don't get bored of waking up and you don't get bored of listening to Pink Floyd.Period.If people who have only heard Another Brick in the Wall 2 , Comfortably Numb and Coming Back to Life don't get bored of Pink Floyd why would I?And there is much more ,no much much more to PF than these three songs. Hell I like 4 songs from the same album ( Division Bell) better than Coming back to life.With Roger Waters they were divine , without him they are pretty much more than human beings. And why not? I always thought that David Gilmour had more influence on PF's music than Waters (many people will think the other way).And some brainless punks of punk rock movement accused them of being too pretentious. I think they were not sure what pretentious means , there's difference in being pretentious and being audacious , being ahead of your time. Who else will even think of spending millions on a single concert where a real wall is built live on stage and then brought down just because they wanted people to empathize with the concept of "The Wall". Who else will make a song of length 24 minutes which contains music which can't be by any definition called mainstream ( I am talking about "echoes") and believe me if you watch the final scene of "2001: a space odyssey" with echoes playing in background , you don't need any cocaine . That Dark Side of the Moon is the 3rd largest selling album in the world ever makes me happy ( not that I give a shit about commercial success but it feels good to know that theres some sanity left in the world).
There's a cliche that goes " you grow up with Led Zeppelin". It took me a little time to understand the meaning of it.If I say that Pink Floyd is the greatest band ever to have graced the earth many eyebrows will be raised but if i replace Pink Floyd by Led Zeppelin not many people will object. To make it more clear if you ask all the people in the world( who listen to English music) which is the greatest band ever the statistics would look something like this : 40% Led Zeppelin , 30% Beatles , 30% Others. Its actually not hard to believe this.All 4 of the band members were geniuses Page , Bonham are among the best ( if not the best) and when you start appreciating Plant you'll have the same opinion for him too.From the brilliance of Stairway to Heaven , to the trip of No Quarter and the rock of Whole lotta love these guys did everything possible. Led Zepp defined Rock and Roll ... from filling up huge stadiums in a matter of seconds to excessive debaucheries. Their on stage and off stage theatrics , some of them extremely notorious and infamous (what more even Bonham the drummer died by choking on his puke)made them sort of immortal . Not that I am great fan of all these "Activities" ...even Tommy Lee( drummer of Motely Crue) has the largest circulated porn tape ever to his credit ( if you are wondering who was the female, it was none other than Miss Pamela Anderson) but here lies the difference ; for tommy this was his biggest and probably only achievement , for zepp it was part of the arrogance that arose from the brilliant music they made. It was the same arrogance which made them release an album( led zepp 4) without the band name or album name anywhere to be seen on the cover or the back. I started liking Led Zeppelin pretty late(i kick myself for that) . Now I have heard almost each and every song ever released or bootlegged , but still if I happen to find some song which I havent heard I am inundated with huge anticipation.
If you divide all the songs in 4 categories : Hard , Not so Hard , Not so Soft, Soft and select top 10 songs in each of them there will atleast be one Pearl Jam song in each category.That's the variety Pearl Jam plays. How many bands can boast of 6 Top Class albums( i love Binaural too). Its there last two albums only which I think are not as good.And if somebody does not like " No Code" he is not even a Pearl Jam fan or a music fan in general.Yes I think they never topped "Ten" but who can?What a god Eddie Vedder is! As if he has some cubic polynomial equation inserted in his throat and he can vary every variable precisely to produce the desired effect. Change the value of variable y to 3.67 to produce the exact cracking effect.Take an average PJ song and make Eddie sing ooooh....or Mmmm in between and it becomes a classic.But PJ is far from a one man army. Listen to the breathtaking guitar solos if you don't believe me. Eddie, Gossard, McCready all are so good that if tomorrow Pearl Jam decides to breakup we'll have 3 world class bands! Saying Pearl Jam is the best band of the last decade is like insulting them. Blood,Go, Animal, Rear View Mirror, Garden, Not For You, Evenflow,Alive, Immortality, Black,Release,YellowLed Better, Nothing Man, Off He goes, Parting Ways ,Present Tense : yeah these are awesome songs in the order of categories mentioned above and there are 100 more. Go listen , adore , i bet you'll find your own favourites for every mood.
When somebody says that Radiohead is a one song wonder I feel like chopping off his ears and feeding him those for lunch.But that will be a rare comment now.Now, take any poll published anywhere in the world for the best album ever " OK Computer" will most probably be on the top.And "OK computer" is not even my favourite Radiohead album!( The Bends is). Some people might complain that Radiohead is depressing and thats true but when you listen to their beautiful and profound lyrics you'll doubt yourself " Am I right in being happy? " Ok thats not exactly a very positive and enthusiastic way to praise a band but I would say Radiohead is more about introspection than depression. And even if you choose to ignore the lyrics completely( which I strongly advise not to) still the melody and the voice will haunt you for hours. If Pink Floyd was audacious they are more so. Listen to " Kid A" and you'll come to know why. I read some comment somewhere ( probably Amazon reviews) that even if Thom Yorke utters gibberish like " blahblehblehbluh" it becomes the most fascinating statement in Rock and Roll that year. I totally agree!
When people say Seattle people think Nirvana or Pearl Jam. There was another band which was not as "Grunge" and was much darker : Alice in Chains. AIC is more metal than grunge and they are awesome. The album"Dirt" immediately comes to mind when you think of AIC . If I am given an option to listen to three songs before I die "Rooster" will definitely be among those three.There are other great albums like Jar of Flies , SAP but I would like to mentioned their acoustic live " MTV Unplugged" . That is without any doubt the best acoustic, in fact the best live recorded album ever!yeah it is better than Nirvana's version.Who would imagine a metal band who are so used to relentlessness of electric guitar would produce such a wonderful acoustic set. But there are reasons for that. If you look at the video of the recording Layne Staley looks as if he has been brought in right from his death bed to sing ( and he probably was!). Although the sight of sick-appearing Layne is disturbing but that brings so much of pain in his voice, that no singer faking the pain can compare.Secondly Jerry Cantrell is a God and is one of the best guitarist ever!The result is breathtaking and some songs like "Would" in this album sound even better than their original versions.Even without Layne AIC rocks and they have started playing again. How I wish they'll release another album.

Any music post is not complete without the mention of Thrash Metal. There was a period when I worshipped Metallica. I still love their first 4 albums. That was Metal in its purest form, that was Metal as it should be , that was attitude , that was I don't give a fuck music which inspired so many people.After they released "Black Album" they changed ( Black incidentally is their largest selling album and it is the album which I absolutely hate). It is sad that all people have heard Nothing else matters ,Unforgiven( which I think is the worst song ever for any metal band) but not many people have heard Fade to Black and One. And when Metallica started sucking I found the purity in Megadeth. Although I am not huge fan of the singing ability of Dave Mustaine but him and Marty Friedman make what is probably the best Guitar duo in any band ever. "Rust in Peace" is such an amazing album , that even a Britney Spears listening guy would love it! " Holy Wars... the punishment due" is the best metal song. Period.
There are several other excellent bands like Nirvana,Soundgarden,The Who, The Doors,Iron Maiden,Dream Theater, Black Sabbath, Pantera,Travis, RHCP,Tool etc but they lack something which separates them from the Great bands.

And who needs them anyway ,didn't i start with " you don't get bored of Pink Floyd."
This is my longest post till date , and I knew it as soon as i began writing.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

obsession shows!

Gaurav said...

nicely written!

Anu said...

5:25 AM huh? Divine

manan said...

some problem with the time :) i'll correct it soon!

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