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647846 Posts in 25916 Topics by 3699 Members - Latest Member: BigRed June 26, 2019, 09:13:34 AM
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1  Smiley Smile Stuff / Welcome to the Smiley Smile board / Re: Welcome thread on: Today at 05:00:54 AM
Curious to see the "Rolling Beach Boys covers thread" in the "General Music Discussion" section.

No wonder I was warned it hadn't been posted in for at least 120 days. No one can find it. Grin
2  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Rolling Beach Boys covers thread on: Today at 04:55:44 AM
Here's an interesting cover of "Good Vibrations" by Psychic TV. Lead singer Genesis P-Orridge adds a curious spoken section at 3:47:

"Words are falling over us
Time cascading down
And I see you slithering
Like a snake in a golden crown
[Next bit incomprehensible]
Around the black line with eyes that shine
And I am old and I am young
Waiting to belong"
3  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The Who on: Today at 04:12:57 AM
It's Hard...

Years ago a younger relative gave me a mixtape that included eight tracks from this album. I know I fell in love with "Eminence Front" the moment I heard it but I can't remember the others too well, if at all.

I now have the full album on YouTube lined up for the next day or so. To be continued. Grin
4  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: R.I.P. Jerry Carrigan on: Today at 03:28:32 AM
Ít's been reported that nother great studio musician has died. Muscle Shoals FAME drummer Jerry Carrigan.

Jerry Carrigan, Nashville drummer who worked with Elvis, George Jones, dead at age 75

Sad news. And far too young. Rest in peace, JC.
5  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Album Covers/Artwork on: Yesterday at 12:03:32 PM
Factually, any album picture is pointless. Album is about music.

Here are two beauties from my blogger friend's "Keepers" list to disprove your point, RR:

6  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Keep an Eye on Summer (Arranged for 2 Guitars) on: Yesterday at 07:43:27 AM

Little arrangement I did. Hope you enjoy! Feel free to leave a request of a Beach Boys song you might like to hear like this

What a fantastic tune! Agreed about Surfer Girl (probably said that before).

And what a beautiful "little arrangement"! Not that I expected anything less... 

Mike if you ever fancy doing "Girls On The Beach" that would be awesome! (Probably said that before as well. Wink )
7  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The return of the "What are you listening to now?" thread on: Yesterday at 02:00:16 AM
Been listening to the Lene Lovich album Flex, thanks to my friend (top link in signature) and her alternative '80s topic at "my" hobby forum. This is "Joan"--love the chord at 0:23! Roll Eyes
8  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Songs you are obsessing over. on: Yesterday at 01:53:14 AM
Used to hear it 20 times loop, good music:

That is one gorgeous song! I think I heard one other track by Psychic TV way back (I believe the video had something to do with a car journey) but that's all I knew about them until today. Big fan of Brian Jones here.

Thank you. Smiley
9  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Old Record Parade on: June 24, 2019, 12:21:38 PM
Took my Mom to the Dentist today. These appointments usually don't go well so I was a bit stressed.
Tuned the radio to the Soultown channel. And guess what played as I neared the office ?
 "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" by Stevie Wonder. Had to laugh, and figured that the radio gods or whoever arranged for me to hear it. A wonderful song, Stevie at or near his peak.
Yes, the appointment went well. All the people at the office went out of their way to make my Mother comfortable .
So I wasn't surprised when the first song I heard going home was "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers . :-)

Where would we be without music?! Grin
10  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Favorite instrumentals on: June 24, 2019, 10:01:09 AM
Rea is one of those artists who seems to fly under the radar.

He started off commercially with his output being Middle of the Road later leaning towards the Blues but it had a very accessible slant to it.

I envy anyone who is working their way through his back catalogue for the first time. Some fabulously rich pickings there. : - )

H'mm. Thanks for that, J. Trouble is, I'm a one-album-per-artist/band person. Grin

If you had to recommend just one album (sorry about this), which one would it be? The later period sounds interesting. Smokin
11  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Sundazed: Albums from the Golden Age of Popular Music on: June 24, 2019, 05:06:39 AM
I remember when I first heard Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" in mid '67 I was blown away by its authority. Of course I bought it straight away. But then I heard it so often on the radio (day in, day out) that my interest in it soon flagged. The B-side was the very opposite--a throwaway blues thing. They would have done better to have used the backing track of "AWSAP"--it would have been played day and night as background music on radio shows.

I still feel their next 45, "Homburg", was vastly superior to "AWSAP" and indeed anything else on PH's debut album. Although I love the third album's title track "A Salty Dog", which I've long regarded as a sort of UK equivalent of "Surf's Up", my choice for this topic (all three albums are included in the by now legendary "Keepers" list) falls on "Shine On Brightly", from PH's sophomore album of that name.

When I did charity work in Birmingham in '73, "Shine On Brightly" was on a tape I played while dropping off to sleep. So despite the title, for me this magical song conjures up a picture of inky blackness! (Curiously, another equally dark-sounding song on that tape had a soft verse/loud chorus structure, albeit more extreme--George Harrison's "Let It Down".)
12  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Favorite instrumentals on: June 23, 2019, 02:33:57 PM
Chris Rea's No Work Today sounds as sweet to me today as it did when I first heard it in 1980

Wow. Some nifty bottleneck work there. Thanks for that, J. I must confess to knowing next to nothing about Chris Rea. Smokin
13  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: R.I.P. Scott Walker on: June 23, 2019, 02:29:47 PM
Jackie and Matilde were my two favourites, stunning vocals and the arrangements were sublime.

I have to mention Joanna written by Britain's own Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch ... : - )

It never dawned on me that Jackie Trent was a songwriter (they say you learn something new every day).

I remember her from her gorgeous hit of 1965, "Where Are You Now", which I now see she co-wrote!

Thanks for the memory, J. And rest in peace, Ms Trent.

I'm so sorry JK, I missed your reply.

Her contribution to their work has never been properly or fully acknowledged. Indeed when Hatch was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame not only wasn't she given the honor but she wasn't invited. To make things worse he never mentioned her in his acceptance speech. Her and Hatch were divorced at that point and he was holding back Royalties for songs she had written saying she had no input into them.

I saw them in concert together in Cardiff in the early '80s and to this day it stands out as one of the best I've seen. Her voice was sublime and she had charisma in spades enough for the two of them for sure because personality wise Hatch brought zip to the table.

She wrote a book about her life which came out posthumously. She put as much as Hatch's Lawyers would allow her to of their litigation of the music which remained unresolved at the time of her death.

A tale as old as time and unbelievably sad because it had an impact on her that she was never able to resolve or come to terms with... As she said, "What happened to all the money"?

No need to apologize, J.  Wink

That is tragic--and incredibly cruel and self-centred. I thought stuff like that only happened in the US in the 1950s! Lucky you though, to have seen her in concert.

I see Hatch's wiki page says nothing about his dreadful behaviour towards Jackie. Maybe his lawyers have been poking around there too.  Angry 
14  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Dave Bartholomew RIP on: June 23, 2019, 02:19:30 PM
Sad news, but yes, a long life! RIP, sir. I'll raise a toast to that big ole party.

This may be DB's finest hour (it's certainly Fats's):
15  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Sundazed: Albums from the Golden Age of Popular Music on: June 23, 2019, 04:57:00 AM
In a way, I was surprised to see Traces by Classics IV in my friend's list of "Keepers". Most of it is fairly MOR late-night listening, with Tommy Roe's "Traffic Jam" the only up-tempo song in the set. Ironically, it was another Tommy Roe song, "Dizzy", which kept "Images", the first of two singles from the album, from the US #1 slot. It's certainly the album's standout track and I see (at Wikipedia) that it's held in high esteem.

You might say with its four cover versions that Traces is a step away from Gandalf, but without that superior album's psychedelic sheen. The trademark "Spooky" rhythmic motif is in evidence on many of its tracks--in my view this is what holds the album together.
16  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Sweet singing in the choir: a choral miscellany on: June 23, 2019, 03:16:21 AM
"My" choir had this big concert last night (and I mean big--it went on for ever). I've already linked some of the pieces they sang but not this breathtakingly beautiful Locus Iste by Paul Mealor, who seems to be something of a superstar among living UK composers (see the wiki page):
17  Smiley Smile Stuff / Welcome to the Smiley Smile board / Re: Welcome thread on: June 21, 2019, 04:11:19 AM
I just love the rivalry in the "General Music Discussion" section between RR, Rocker and myself. There's this constant battle to occupy the top spot on the page. Grin

It certainly keeps things lively and draws others into the (musical) fray in the process. Good stuff. Wink
18  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Favorite instrumentals on: June 21, 2019, 04:06:47 AM
While dusting and rearranging the contents of bookshelves this morning, I lent an ear to a big chunk of the debut album by Boards of Canada, a Scottish electronic outfit I'm utterly unfamiliar with. This gorgeous track, "Roygbiv", leapt out at me:
19  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: I Hear A Symphony: A \ on: June 21, 2019, 02:40:56 AM
Some of the streets in my area are named after composers, most of them big international names but also a few Dutch men and women, many of whom have slipped into obscurity. One street is named after the Dutchman Willem Landré (1874-1948). I remember a late composer friend not being particularly impressed with him (I must look it up). This "romantic piano concerto" from 1936 is pleasant enough. His son Guillaume (1905-1968) was also a composer.
20  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Songs you are obsessing over. on: June 21, 2019, 02:29:47 AM
"Lasagna Party Every Sunday" by KJ And The Pet Puppets

Can't wait to hear this one. Grin
21  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Sundazed: Albums from the Golden Age of Popular Music on: June 20, 2019, 12:43:21 PM
Please forget my above links!

Actually, I just gave the Horrific Child album a listen. It's certainly unusual, quite startling at times, but I'm afraid it had pretty well the same effect on me as Edge of Time. Both are just outside my musical area.

Let’s talk about something befitting this thread:

The Smoke (not the UK or NZ bands, but the Michael Lloyd one) and their sole ’68 LP which in my opinion is a masterpiece. Why oh why is there still no official reissue of this gem? Surely Sundazed would be the perfect label for this one!

Yes, this album is on my friend's list of "Keepers" (I even remember seeing the cover image in her blog). Feel free to link it here with the neccesary information (it's on YouTube). This topic is for everyone, you know. Wink
22  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Sundazed: Albums from the Golden Age of Popular Music on: June 20, 2019, 05:44:19 AM
Speaking of albums that are a bit different, here are two classics and two of my favourites. You might've heard 'em already, though:

I realise that I'm straying from the subject now... Sorry about that! Smiley

No problem, hb. All grist to the mill, as they say. Wink

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll give those two a try in the coming days and report back. Cool 
23  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Happy 77th Birthday Brian! on: June 20, 2019, 05:14:06 AM
Many happy returns, Big Guy.

Have a relaxing day--you deserve it!

And thank you, Brian, for everything.
24  Smiley Smile Stuff / Welcome to the Smiley Smile board / Re: Welcome thread on: June 20, 2019, 05:00:26 AM
This has to be Topic of the Month! We are so incredibly lucky to have Stephen Desper on board.,26631.msg650976.html#msg650976
25  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: I Hear A Symphony: A \ on: June 20, 2019, 04:15:12 AM
It was the use of music from The Planets (part of "Neptune" and a snippet from "Mars") in an episode, posted elsewhere by my blogger friend, of Mr. Robot that gave me the idea of tackling each of the seven movements of Holst's orchestral suite chronologically, accompanied by a potted description off the top of my head (this will explain any errors). This Smiley version has been slightly abridged and reduced to a single post. With thanks to CB for unwittingly instigating it! Smiley

The work opens with "Mars, the Bringer of War". Begun, I believe, before WWI broke out, it is prophetic of the mechanized warfare to come. The 5/4 rhythm batters its way inexorably through the movement, with a brief lull about halfway and a cry of pain towards the end.

"Mars" has been used in a modified form by King Crimson in "The Devil's Triangle" from their second album In the Wake of Poseidon.

The version of The Planets I'll be linking is by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis. A brief anecdote (while I'm on a roll): Davis and I actually attended the same grammar school, although he was my senior by two or three years. When I was fourteen I took him a piece of music I'd written--just some derivative fluff. He played through it with all the care and attention worthy of a masterpiece, and then played (and sang) a big chunk of a cantata he had been working on. And now he's a world-famous conductor.

You should turn the volume up reasonably high to catch the hushed opening rhythm on the strings but you may find yourself turning it down later on! Tongue


The second movement, "Venus, the Bringer of Peace", is the one that contrasts most with its predecessor in the suite. That rising horn figure, answered by cool flutes, ushers in a picture of serenity. Later a solo oboe rises to the occasion. After a gentle climax, a rippling celesta brings the movement to a close. Holst was a troubled man but nothing of it shows in these almost nine minutes of bliss.


"Mercury, the Winged Messenger" is mercurial in both name and nature. This last-named is expressed musically in two ways:

First, the key furthest away from C is F#, positioned midway between one C and the C an octave above (or below). This interval is called the tritone and it can be made great use of in the hands of a capable composer, as here. (I could probably do better to describe it as a sophisticated use of bitonality.)

Second, the rhythm alternates between bars of 3/4 and 6/8; these are sometimes heard simultaneously.

The effect of these two devices makes "Mercury" feel as light as air. It's also the shortest of the seven movements--indeed, it's more like an interlude or perhaps a scherzo.


"Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity" (lovely word, that) is the one you're most likely to hear on the radio. It simply brims over with great tunes.

Understandably in this light, it is the most plundered movement of the seven. Manfred Mann's Earthband even took one of the tunes (first heard at 1:05) into the charts as "Joybringer". And Frank Zappa introduced his "Ritual Dance Of The Giant Pumpkin" on Absolutely Free with another (first heard at 1:46).

The big tune at 3:15 was given lyrics and sung as a patriotic hymn ("I Vow to Thee, My Country") during WWI. I can't remember whether Holst sanctioned this move but it's totally out of keeping with the carefree nature of "Jupiter". (Regrettably, the video makes mention of this misuse in the title.) My favourite passage is the swirling, almost psychedelic treatment of this very tune just before the coda.


When I first heard "Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age" I was in my mid teens. More than half a century later, it is still one of my favourite Holst pieces. (The title is somewhat more telling now, of course.)

It begins with two alternating chords representing the inexorable march of the years. Later, we get one of Holst's "sad processions"--he was haunted by these all his life--in the brass at first. Four flutes introduce a new, more urgent element that builds until the bells clang out an alarm. Panic briefly ensues before acceptance takes over and the movement ends in serene, widely spaced chords underpinned by low notes on the organ pedals.


"Uranus, the Magician" has much in common with Dukas' Sorceror's Apprentice, except that this sorceror is in control from the get-go. The opening four-note incantation on the brass recurs throughout the movement, which builds until a shattering glissando on the organ transports us to a serene realm devoid of all hocus-pocus.


"Neptune, the Mystic" is one of the quietest pieces ever written. (I don't believe it rises above mezzo-piano.) I remember the LP liner notes going on to describe this low volume as "the hush of concentration" rather than of despair or anything negative. The high G (here at 3:51) takes a while to impress itself on the senses. It is sung by female voices located in a room offstage. Dividing into six (?) parts, they carry the work to its conclusion. To sneakily quote an old Smiley post of mine, the door of the room closes slowly on the female choir with the final bar "repeated until the sound is lost in the distance".


PS: Anyone bold enough to investigate the full score can find it here. I remember gawping at its graphic qualities as a young child. Before then I'd heard The Planets only once on the radio, at night, drifting up the stairs to my bedroom where it conjured up multi-coloured visions of outer space.


The CD that I've used to illustrate each planet concludes with my favourite among Holst's compositions, the orchestral miniature Egdon Heath. Written in 1927, the composer considered it his most perfectly realized work. (Not being a part of the series, I took the liberty of looking some things up at this point!)

The version linked here (recorded in 1961 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Adrian Boult) is the one I've always known and loved. The YouTube blurb is pretty well complete in itself, with the wiki page providing some additional background information:

"A place perfectly accordant with man's nature--neither ghastly, hateful nor ugly; neither commonplace, unmeaning nor tame; but like man, slighted and enduring; and withal singularly colossal and mysterious in its swarthy monotony." This quotation from Thomas Hardy's 1878 novel The Return of the Native appears on the score of Gustav Holst's tone poem Egdon Heath, dedicated to Hardy (who, at age 87, had one more year of life remaining), and long regarded by the composer as his finest work. It was commissioned by the New York Symphony Orchestra, which premiered it under the direction of Walter Damrosch at New York's Mecca Auditorium on 12 February 1928. The next day Holst led the City of Birmingham Symphony in the British premiere at Cheltenham, where the first major festival of Holst's music had taken place the previous year. Those initial performances went well, but another in London a few days later was greeted poorly by a noisy and unreceptive audience. This seems to have made Holst a bit anxious about the work, and may have led to his desire that the above Hardy quotation should always appear in any explanatory programme notes.

In her book on her father's music, Holst's daughter Imogen evokes the Hardy quotation in referring to the "mysterious monotony" of the tone poem, which begins with a sombre melody heard first in the double basses, then taken up by the rest of the strings. A nostalgic theme in the brass and woodwinds, and a scurrying theme in the strings and oboe, work their way into the texture as well, leading to moody, twilit music and what has been described as a "strange, ghostly dance". This dark, evocative work finishes the same way it started: quietly, and somewhat mysteriously.

Gustav Holst (21 September 1874--25 May 1934)
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