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Top 10 Lists

You May Have Noticed…

On December 30, 2009, in Other Interests, by admin

…the Follow Me button on the right of the website. This, of course, is tied to Twitter, the one of the social web programs available that has gotten wide popularity. If you punch this, will you see it come up as “iamjimmorrison” as the account to follow. I use this sound bite in my apparant mulitple personalities. Of course, no surprise to the reader who participated in the Top10 favorite songs list. Any future top 10 favorite songs or other lists will likely be dominated by The Doors. So no surprise….but the real discussion here is social networking. This twitter account is not really used.  I do not put updates on it despite the call from my domain/web comrades (something which I am still learning) who use Twitter, Facebook and others to build traffic. A couple of things here…..1) There are only so many updates one can do during a day if you have a real job, and 2) I am perplexed and very careful not to try to use friends as a means to sell something, which, is what most of what my comrades do.  Yes, I have ads on this site. Yes, I would love for those to partake if they see something of interest or need, as it helps defray costs of a format like this blog which I choose to do instead of Facebook so our collective music can be available to those interested. (Still hope to add a lot more).  But I do not want to be in the position to spam friend network.  These sites take a shitload to maintain.  Yes, I am trying to build traffic to this site (this is what the related links under posts is all about), and yes, I am interested in continuing my learning in this industry for income streams, this site being one of my early entries. But bottom line, this site is for personal use.  I do many known and calculated errors on this site for SEO purposes and building traffic because I use this forum for my personal blog and interests. By definition, it will never be one that has so much traffic driven to it for commercial purposes. There are others for this purpose, others, that are not blogs that hit my social network, but mini-sites with landing pages designed for commercial.  There will be more from me as well, as I own a few names that would be decent for this purpose. www.moneyspank.com is one of my sites for the above purposes.  (yes, the name is a bit grotequesly catchy, isn’t it!). I amy even try a few names for comment in this forum before I develop.  Becuase, this is one of my interests as well as music. Other sites include South Padres Lodging . This was my first and developed by hand and, it shows. And of course, some of you know I have a consulting practice with a good friend and the technically competent person who helps me with this mess.  Kurt developed our site Penland Corner Consultants, and it is really cool….a practice that is slowly beginning. 

Bottom line of all this rambling, I have backed off of Facebook, do not really do Twitter (over 50 follow me without any updates….all it is tied to someone selling something), interests like these keep me out of trouble, maybe earn a little $$ (very little as of now),  and certainly provide an outlet for discussion. Now back to the music after the New Years

Do not forget, Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant NYE. Be there

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And The Last Top 10

On December 19, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

…before we move to another catagory…will be another top 10. But this time groups, in order. Getting tougher.

 But first Marty from www.dazzlingweaselfaces.com list.  I had lost it and Dave replaced, and, Marty knows how to write formatted mails, unlike some other folks we know.

  Always been a softie, always will be.  Not ashamed of it, either.   Here’s what I sent to Jay:    
  Top 10 Favorite Songs – Marty Floyd   Jay has asked for my top 10 favorite songs, so here goes.  I’ve always been a sucker for harmonies, beautiful love ballads, and the Beatles, so this list will be heavily weighted accordingly.  Also, the more I thought about it, the more there were some I just couldn’t leave off of my favorites list, so there are more than 10.  

1.  If You Could Read My Mind (written and recorded by Gordon Lightfoot) – I’ve always been a sucker for folk music harmonies and beautiful love ballads.  This one has great lyrics and absolutely perfect production.  I loved it the first time I heard it as a 16-year-old in 1971, and ever since then I’ve loved it more and more every time I’ve ever heard it.

  2.  For My Lady (written by Ray Thomas and recorded with his band, The Moody Blues) – I’ve also always loved the ocean, and this is an incredibly beautiful song which combines a love song with seafaring imagery.  The recording utilizes a concertino and makes you feel like you’re on an old sailing ship bounding over the waves out on the high seas.  The live version from Red Rocks, Colorado (1992) is awesome for the orchestral background, even if composer / singer Ray Thomas did mess up the lyrics.  

3.  Superstar (written by Leon Russell, recorded by The Carpenters) – this song was enhanced to perfection by Karen Carpenter’s voice.  It doesn’t matter what type of music you prefer; the warmth and richness of Karen’s voice puts her up there with any woman who ever sang a note on the planet.  I don’t know whether the following is true, but I’ve read that the version that was commercially released by them was the first time she ever sang it.   The rest (no particular order):  

I’ll Be Back (written by Lennon/McCartney, recorded by The Beatles) – Lennon said this is a rip-off of a Del Shannon song (although he didn’t particularly name the particular song, I’d have to say he was referring to “Runaway,” based on the chord progression).  He also said once that this was an early favorite of his, which I’ve always found to be personally gratifying, since it’s always been one of my favorites.  The double-tracked harmony absolutely fascinated me when I was younger, and I still consider it to be a great recording.  

 I’ll Follow the Sun (written by Lennon/McCartney, recorded by The Beatles) – This one is a deceptively simple song, yet rather sophisticated in its structure (particularly the use of the 7th off of the 4-chord in the melody).  The early Beatles’ harmonies were as good as any ever recorded.  The blend of Lennon’s and McCartney’s voices from their early recordings has never grown old, as least not to my ears.  I’ve come to believe producer George Martin probably never got enough credit for the Beatles’ early sounds.  Many of their early recordings have a qualitative difference that in retrospect is conspicuously absent from most contemporary recordings of  the day; yet not long after the Beatles hit it big, recordings of numerous other bands (the Hollies come to mind) began to emulate the style.  

I Feel Fine (written by Lennon/McCartney, recorded by The Beatles) – for my money, one of the greatest feel-good rock-and-roll songs ever, despite the fact that they finished writing it in the studio because they needed another filler song (it went to #1 on the charts).  It’s also one of the first songs to use feedback on the recording.  Finally, when my daughter was a little girl, I used to dance with her to this recording.  

And I Love Her (written by Lennon/McCartney, recorded by The Beatles) – still the prettiest thing McCartney ever did, and one of the prettiest that ever came down the line, by anybody.   Cherish (written by Terry Kirkmen, recorded by The Association) – Along with the Beatles “And I Love Her” and Climax’ “Precious and Few,” this is one of the prettiest songs that ever came down the line.  

Precious and Few (recorded by Wilt Nims, recorded by Climax) – Along with The Beatles “And I Love Her” and The Association’s “Cherish,” this is one of the prettiest songs that ever came down the line.   Only the Heart May Know (written and recorded by Dan Fogelberg) – this is from my favorite album of all time, “The Innocent Age.”  It’s a typical Fogelberg ode to the lost innocence of youth, which was pretty much the theme of this entire album.  Emmylou Harris sang harmony with him.  

 Forever Autumn (written by Jeff Wayne, Gary Osborne and Paul Vigrass, recorded by Justin Hayward) – This is a relatively obscure song, although I believe Justin (better known as lead singer on much of the Moody Blues material) released it as a single in the late 70’s.  The lyrics and melody for this song are absolutely haunting.  Justin has said it’s one of his favorites to perform, and although he frequently does it in his solo performances, but it’s not been included in the Moody Blues play lists during the times that I’ve seen them live.  In my opinion, Justin Hayward has the most soulful voice in popular music today.  

Oh, Pretty Woman (written by Bill Dees and Roy Orbison, recorded by Roy Orbison) – Reportedly inspired when Orbison’s wife interrupted Dees and Orbison as they were trying to write a song, and when she asked for some cash, they replied, “A pretty woman like you doesn’t need money!”  It is, quite simply, the greatest feel-good rock-and-roll song of all time.  After 45 years, it still hasn’t grown old.  At all.  

Don’t Worry Baby (written by Roger Christian and Brian Wilson, recorded by the Beach Boys) – another great feel-good rock-and-roll song, with the Beach Boys’ inimitable harmonies.  It is Brian’s clone of “Be My Baby,” which is his favorite song, and would likely be on this list, except it’s a little before my time.  

Ryhthm Of The Rain (written by John Claude Gummoe, performed by the Cascades) – my favorite pre-Beatles rock-and-roll song, and of the few from the era which has what I would consider to be of the same high-quality recording style as much of the early Beatles material.  

Unchained Melody (written by Alex North and Hy Zaret, recorded by the Righteous Brothers, among many others) – This is simply the most intensely beautifully rock-and-roll ballad of all time.  As I did research to make my selections for this list, I learned that the song was first used in an obscure prison film (1955) called “Unchained.”  It was been recorded over 500 times, but the best known and definitive version was done in 1965 by the Righteous Brothers.  

   There’s a WHOLE bunch more that I could have put on a favorites list, but I’ll stop for now.

Thanks Marty.  Impressive, you are the only guy to list the writers….

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Back To The Top 10 – A Late Entrant

On December 17, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

So we needed to bring this list in for John.  Inspite of his jaded love of The Pack, which lessens all that is his life, I have to say, an interesting list of top 10.  Being a college student, he brings in a different perspective. But notice, a lot of his favorites were older than him….well, here it is.  now if I could only get him and his old man to figure out how to use MS Word so I do not have to decipher e-mail chaos…as you can see from below in the arrangement.

 1. Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) – No explanation needed

2. Let It Be (The Beatles) – can’t have a top ten without the 4

 3. Feeling This (Blink182) – Probably would be my number one album if this was a top 10 list of
 4. Stolen (Dashboard Confessional) – Total girls song, but I like it anyways
 5. Hotel California (Eagles) – Best lyrical song of all time

 6. Everlong (Foo Fighters) – Had trouble narrowing down a Foo Fighter song, but i know i
    needed to have 1

 7. Sweet Child of Mine (Guns N’ Roses) – can’t argue with
     the opening rift

 8. Secret Crowds (Angels and Airwaves) –

 9. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey) – it’s the National Anthem

10. Simple Man (Lynard Skynard)
11. Schism (Tool)

12. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) – Muppets did it better.
13. Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

14. Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty)
15. Pinball Wizard (The Who)

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One Hit Wonders Top 10

On December 9, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

Recently Yahoo Music issued story on one hit wonders. I always like these. At the end of the day, many of these songs have great meaning or association in our lives, or otherwise,  were such huge hits that they played themselves deaf to your ears because top 40 stations rotated them in every 20 minutes, and yet, when you think of the artist; blank. One song, 15 minutes of fame, then gone.  Many of these artists are off to careers you and I particpate with not a trace of their past success for that short period of time.

Some of the top one hit wonders I can think of are listed below, I left the artist blank to see if some of you can fill this in…..this is sort of a top 10, and I encourage you to post your top 10 in this catagory.  But for now, I will list a few and you see if you can fill in the artist….you can post here, or e-mail me at jay@reddgranite.com

Ooh, Ooh Child…OK, you can cheat here, was one of Dave’s Top 10 songs, so the artist is buried in a post on this site.

Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes

Vehicle (baby)

Incense and Peppermint (ah the wonders of the drug crazed era)

Snoopy Verses the Red Baron

Precious and Few

Don’t Give Up On Me Baby

C’Mon Eileen

Always Something There To Remind Me

Broken Wings

In The Year 2525

Don’t Pull Your Love Out On Me Baby

There you go, I did get more than 10. A few notes, there are one or two of these, while one hit wonders, really did try to follow up the hit with additional CDs…Broken Wings is one example, the group put out several other CDs….just never had the playtime on much  of anything else in their music.

Your Input is respectfully requested….and no cheating, no going to Google on this, you lazy bums

Another e-mail input here…Mark is long time friend dating back to the dark ages at BU.  Thanks for coming up last Saturday, Mark…great to have you.  As you can see, Mark is a man of few words in e-mails.  So I posted his top 10, adding the group names, where I know them.

won’t get fooled again  The Who
behind blue eyes    The Who
take it easy   Eagles
honky tonk women   Rolling Stones
black dog   Led Zepplin
stairway to heaven  Led Zepplin  (just could not go with this one, too easy)
shoot to thrill  AC/DC
sweet child ‘o mine     Guns and Roses  (still remember driving to the beach in ’87 with this blaring on radio)
photograph  Def Leppard
another think coming  Judist Priest
honorable mention:
fortunate son  Not sure here
lucky man(elp)..elp stands for Emerson, Lake and Palmer
story in your eyes   Moody Blues
eagle and the hawk (marty, don’t drop dead here!)   John Denver?  Even Marty had no John Denver
hot smoke and sassafras   No Clue
pinball wizard.  The Who
Obviously bent to rock set, and really, Mark was very responsible for launching my 80’s hair bands…he was the one who introduced me to the great Dokken…among others.  Mark and I were always the hard rockers of the group.
Interesting, there are now three different votes for “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who…and I swear none of coordinated these lists.
Good goin Mark, thanks for the…and if any of you outside our circle looking in care to mail your top 10 posts (as opposed to leaving them in comments section which is always an option, you can e-mail me at jay@reddgranite.com
thanks all
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And Now….Dave’s Top 10 Plus

On November 30, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

OK folks.  Now we have the Top 10 favorite from Dave.  He is my musical partner in this redd granite thang. Here is the list with a few comments of mine below

1) Maggie Mae —  (Rod Stewart and Faces) —wow, that mandolin part at the end, still brings chills–from a special time in my life
2) Because   —-   The Dave Clark Five — maybe the perfect ballad (and that Vox organ!)
3) Let It Be—– The Beatles –my all-time favorite Beatles tune, shows how even under stressful, chaotic conditions, turbulent emotions,  the “end of the dream” ,the end of an era that shook the world to it’s roots, can still produce a balm for the soul,  magic melancholia. I still choke up when I hear it…
4) Here Comes the Sun — The Beatles  —George Harrison‘s finest song
5)Rocky Mountain Way—Joe Walsh  —proved a man can play lead and rythym guitar at the SAME TIME.  Wow–power chord and wa-wa pedal extraordinaire
6) Layla–Eric Clapton –original “hard rock” version.  Can anyone play with Clapton? No–never can, never will.  The piano break towards the end is amazing.  The first time I heard the song I dropped my jaw in amazement. Few songs have ever done that.
7)Ooooh Child –Artist unknown, but believe they were “one-hit wonders” . The way the song starts soft and slow and builds to crescendo is inspiring.
8)Sister Golden Hair–America —yeah, yeah, the lyrics make no sense–so what. A song from another special time in my life. One of those, “It’s-our-song” things.  I still smile, even when I play it and sing it live.
9)Won’t Get Fooled Again — The Who — The genius of the power chord maestro.  Tough one to pick over Pinball Wizard and Baba Oreilly, but the lyrics, go far beyond their usual pre-punk, tough, working class life, disillusionment to real political statement in a kick-ass rock song. The greatest recorded scream in rock history opens the song.
10)There’s A Place in the World For a Gambler — Dan Fogelberg — One of my hero’s.  Again a tough call, but lyrics, music, arrangement make my list.
Just out of the top 10:
A Hard Day’s Night–The Beatles — oh John, we hardly knew ye, but when motivated and focused…Damn, you were the best….
Back In Black —   AC/DC  What can I say?  The perfect Rock and Roll Riff.  Tough to leave out You Shook me all night long, and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap…does anyone have as much fun with lyrics? (Except maybe Joe Walsh)
Landslide  —Fleetwood Mac  —Stevie Nicks can write some great songs, but the arrangements are incredible (See ‘Gypsey”)
Roll With The Changes—REO Speedwagon  –Maybe the greatest Piano riff of all time…..
As you can see, Dave added a few extras under honorable mention. There a few comments worth noting. Musical taste catagories for Dave is hard to pin down.  He likes a variety, and I think you can certainly see that from the above list. Interestingly, we share “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who….and one of our future lists will have this as well. Hmm.  I think we are all a bunch of angry people! The Fogelberg song does not surprise. When I join the Dazzling Weasel Faces, we usually close with this….I have never heard the recording, but this is one that brings out our harmonies in the very best way.
A quick comment on one honorable mention song with two stories:  “Roll With The Changes” by REO…1) we were playing b-ball in the gym.  We were good enough to hold court on a weekend afternoon as long as we wished usually (winner keeps court).  This day, we were sucking, and threatened by an early exit from the court.  Some dude walks in with his boom box (cassette tape for all you young’ans) The first song is the one above, and it is so inspiring, we just started playing out of our heads, made up a huge deficit, and keep the court the rest of the afternoon when we should have been studying. 2) I believe this is the same day I walk into the gym to start our basketball day. I am wearing sweats. and a t-shirt. We are going to be skins in the pickup game, so i take off my shirt (I could do this back then). I then start to take off my sweats to get to my shorts(?), nope, I got the pants down around my ankles with all of my teammates rolling in laughter, as I had forgotten my gym shorts underneath the sweat pants. So here I have these pants around my ankles, tighty whiteys high, not even realizing until I figured out what they were laughing about……
…oh well, I still have no self respect
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Now That The List Is Done…

On November 25, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

Several comments have come back that it is really difficult to come up with a list of Top 10 Favorite Songs. I can understand.  One of the reasons I broke this into five groups of two is that it was difficult to come up with the Top 10. Well, I must say, the Top 10 likely will change over time. There are a few like “Eyes Of A Stranger” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that have been stable in my Top 10. Others, not so much. So it is OK if this varies a bit, try to capture it now with what is going on in your world now….after all, thats part of what makes these lists valid in each of us….

Again, now that I am complete, I will be posting others who sent mails with their lists, as they were less comfortable with how to leave comments here.  That is OK.  This way, I can capture them all in one post for all to see….I promise I will not comment too much, afterall, my tastes are pretty screwed up  by most books.

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The final installment.  After this, I will summarize my list, and then start adding lists for several of you that have sent your list to me in e-mail.

This next one has been heard lately….I say lately, actually for the last 7 or so years as the opening theme song for the television show CSI Miami. This song strings it all together, great lyrics, great rock song, great bridge (although a bit too long for my A.A.D.D. tastes), great playing on guitar and drums, and it really captured a lot of the impressionism that I was exposed to as I went through the HS/College years back in the dark, dark ages. The song, of course is

Won’t Get Fooled Again……The Who.  Once again, too long to put into MP3 file here, so watch CSI Miami for a brief taste or look it up on the internet.  But what I will offer here is, how can you not like a song that came off of that the album cover below?

Top 10 Album Cover?

Top 10 Album Cover?


The last song I will take the criticisms of my fellow critic, Robert.  He will dog me for this one. Conversely, this may surprise those I play music with. Do not have the MP3 version of this either, but in the end, you should look this one up. The song captures great, meaningful lyrics, with a production that is top notch, combining a full orchestra song into, albeit, quite a mellow (soft rock?) song. This was a tough pic from another song on the same CD, the artist was specifically great at capturing moments in lyric and expanding the piece with a tremendous music.  He passed way too early….

Netherlands….Dan Fogelberg.  This can stand to show you I am not only hard rock oriented (or hair band, more specifically) and that my tastes are varied.

Fire away, Robert.

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Top 10 List Delayed For Today

On November 21, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

But I did have a rather unique thing with this website and posts today. The Google ads that appear on this screen(s) queue from the content in the website. So, since yesterday’s post listed When The Musics Over from the Doors as one of my top 10 favorite songs of all time, naturally, Google picked up on that and I have ads related to the Doors.  One  caught my interest, and I clicked on it (oops, publishers not supposed to do this…but I did, so there) had a title of Daryl Hall (formerly of Hall and Oates) with the Dorrs Ray Manzarak and Robby Krieger. 

The resulting click took me to this website www.livefromdarylshouse.com. you clan click through here or through the Google ad if it shows again after this post (since Google will reset based upon content here. What a great website this is. It is a music jam site where Daryl Hall invites musicians of all kinds into his California home to jam.  In this case, it was with the aforementioned Doors guys. The third Door, John Densmore was not present, as is the case with many of The Doors events as he seems to believe the toher two are living off the legacy of Morrison and are too commercial.  He may be right, with the tours with guest singers (Scott Stapp of Creed and Ian Astbury of The Cult).  But I found this to be interesting. They do a combination of original music for the groups in question as well as a few Hall and Oates songs.  Highly producted and this is one of 20 or so “episodes” that were on the website.  Professionally done, interesting, with a variety of musicians reflecting tastes across the board.  Check it out.

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More Today…the Next Two

On November 19, 2009, in Favorite Music, by admin

Todays entries seem to have a underlying theme of “dirty hippie”.  Robert knows oh too well that I am one, I expect his comments accordingly.  OK. Here it goes….and, without even trying, I know both of these song files are too big to place the MP3’s in here…so sorry about that

When The Children Cry – White Lion.  I bet a get backlash on this one, if even many of you even know this group. Suffice it to say, this song, when I year it has a profound effect on me for reasons we will not go into.  In the end, it is a song about getting rid of government, from a viewpoint of innocence. Lets all just go into our little corners, build our huts, gather our wood, and grow happily old without all this bull shit political non action that results in daily news no better than a British tabloid.  We are not the country we once were….but oh so many are afraid to admit it. Its that pride thing going again…..

When The Music’s Over – The Doors

This next song is the second entry of the Doors.  Running 11:00 minutes in length, to me it is an anthem of decay and what man has done to the earth and our enviroment. Not a tree hugger, folks, do not worry.  Just a poigniant view of our world.  Despite the hippie type subject of this song, Morrison was no hippie.  He lived in the times, but his personality and 149 IQ were guided in complete different directions (I never got that IQ when his Shaman spirit jumped into my soul in July of 1971, j..ju…just kidding, really)…so this subject area was a departure from many of the other songs written by him where there were personal experiences or observations involved. I remember my roomate (undoubtedly becoming concern over my deepening affinity for The Doors back in ’74)   Mark offering a branch when he heard this song indicating how interesting it was…….thanks Mark, you were good to put up with me way back then and now as well……but I know one thing he heard that he loved, as I do about this song: that hypnotic organ intro with Morrison’s sarcastic snear and scream that sets the tone for this song and the chaos of the times back then (and now)

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