Tuesday, 30 September 2014

List Entry - Records That Have Touched Me

There's loads of tush on Facebook that I don't bother with, but today I was challenged by fellow guitarist, Joe Peden of The Persuaders, to come up with a list of ten songs that have touched me. Not the Top ten songs, because I would find that impossible and there are many more x10 that I could have chosen...

The quick list went on FB but in case anyone is interested to know why I chose these... Here we go!

1 Ella Fitzgerald - Manhattan

This is just such a classic. I own it on a 10 inch 78 rpm record and it has another classic, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye on the other side. I chose this one for the warm warm timbre of Ella's voice and for that classic backing with glockenspiel teamed with strings and woodwind. And of course for the writers' sheer audacity in introducing a Bronx accent so they could rhyme "Foil" with "Girl"!

2 John Leyton - Johnny Remember Me

I was only seven when this came out, but the strummed guitar to a tango rhythm stood out amongst all the other records on the wireless (never called "radio" in 1961). At the time we were watching him playing the part of Ginger in the TV series Biggles. I met him a few years ago and he very kindly pretended to be amazed I was old enough to remember that!

3 The Carpenters - Goodbye To Love

Probably my favourite guitar solo ever. Perhaps not the hardest to play - but not a pushover either, but that guitar just soared and took my heart with it.

4 Bert Weedon - Red Guitar

This was actually a B side to China Doll which failed to bother the charts. However this was a much better track and was certainly featured in the background several times during a recent BBC radio documentary about Bert. I have been known to play it on stage myself once in a while.

5 The Eagles - One Of These Nights

I'm not particularly an Eagles fan and like some of their other tracks at least as much as this now, but at the time it came out I just couldn't stop playing it for that first appearance of the guitar power chord sliding up a note. Had a real shiver effect on me!

6 Magna Carta - Seasons

This could be a cheat really, because this was a montage of songs and poetry lasting around 20 minutes - an entire side of their second LP album. There was a brilliant combination of steel acoustic guitar from one speaker and nylon-strung guitar from the other speaker with a booming double bass by Danny Thompson and an occasional burst of zero-effect electric guitar from Davy Johnstone, who would join the band as replacement for Lyell Tranter just after this release. I saw him with them on the tour that went round to promote this album and just sat mesmerised. Meanwhile my mates all moaned that I had an unfair advantage at pulling girlfriends because I was able to play this to them!

7 The Moody Blues - The Story In Your Eyes

The very first time I heard The Moody Blues was the very first time I listened to music on stereo headphones. I was in the third form at school and it must have been 1969. The chap whose albums and equipment they were, chose those tracks with spectacular stereo effects whizzing round inside my head, but I heard enough to go and buy all of their albums from Days of Future Past to To Our Childrens' Childrens' Children. Four albums at once - must have cost me a fortune! Anyway this track is the first musical one on the 1971 album Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and again as a guitarist I loved the way that this track simply explodes into the sound of the prolonged sound effects, instrumental motifs and chanting of the first track. Oogh! Going to have to listen to it again...

8 Kate Bush - Symphony In Blue

Wuthering Heights turned me into an instant Kate Bush fan. I bought the first three albums as they came out and this is the opening track on the second album, Lionheart. Such a pure voice and a plaintiff simple song with a beautiful melody.

9 Barclay James Harvest - For No One

In the early seventies I was playing lead guitar in a band called Spiral who were based in Failsworth between Manchester and Oldham. BJH were one of several "hero" bands and were relatively local to us, as they came from a village on the other side of Oldham. We made several trips to Manchester's Free Trade Hall to see them and they came to be referred to as "The Poor Man's Moody Blues". They were a very different band as far as songs went, but the combination of mellotron, guitar bass and drums and a knack for storytelling through their music was enough for this nickname to start. This is the final track from the album Everyone Is Everybody Else and is one of their dramatic ballads, with heavy atmosphere from the mellotron and some cutting guitar from John Lees. "Poor man's...?" To me they were a great alternative and I loved both bands. I never saw the Moodies on stage, but saw BJH several times and was never disappointed with a show!

10 Fleetwood Mac - Need Your Love So Bad

A guitarist's dream of a song. This was the first song I played solo whilst with Creeping Bentgrass, first unveiling it at my 50th birthday party. Must be at least a week ago... alright, alright, shut up! We do one gig year on year where the organiser warns me we won't be paid unless I play it...

Add your own lists via the comments if you wish - they will not appear though until I have seen and approved them. I won't ban anything because of song content, but adverts, swearing and abuse will not get through! Adverts includes links to your website or blog if you sell stuff on it.

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