Musical Tastes,
Past and Present

The Best ...

LET IT BE album cover

I'm an unusual Beatles fan: my favorite album is the "Spectorized" Let It Be. My favorite song is "I Dig A Pony"; my second favorite is "Day Tripper" or "Get Back"; my third favorite is ... oh, what the heck - did they have any bad songs?

What I've got that you may not have:

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The Rest ...

The Rolling Stones

From Beggars' Banquet through Goat's Head Soup. Their earlier albums were, well, early. I gave up on their later albums during the disco craze and I haven't followed them since. My favorite album is Sticky Fingers. My favorite song? Hmmm ... probably "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", but I'll have to say that I consider "Honky Tonk Women" to be the rock song of all rock songs. [Although Three Dog Night's recording of "Joy to the World" (Hoyt Axton) gives it a run for the money.]

What I've got that you may not have:

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Allman Brothers Band

Wail on, Skydog!

What I've got that you may not have:

Peter Green Peter Green

Possibly my favorite guitarist. If you like Peter Green too, make sure you pick up Gary Moore's Blues for Greeny album, a collection of tastefully done remakes of Peter Green tunes from Green's John Mayall and Fleetwood Mac days. Although Gary Moore is no Peter Green in the vocal department, his guitar playing is beautiful and the songs are played with the dignity they deserve.

What I've got that you may not have:

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Eric Clapton

62 Reasons It's Great To Be Eric Clapton (from the cover of Musician magazine, February 1990):

  1. Only Englishman who can play blues
  2. Doesn't have to do reunion tour
  3. All the Michelob you can drink
  4. Howlin' Wolf likes you more than Ringo
  5. Saw Muddy Waters ride tricycle
  6. No hammer-ons
  7. Had afro in '68
  8. Got caught holding the bag for Buddy Guy
  9. People light matches when you walk out
  10. Pals with George Harrison
  11. Pals with Patti Harrison
  12. Married Patti Harrison
  13. Still pals with George Harrison
  14. Still afraid of Robert Johnson
  15. Used to be God
  16. You don't lie, you don't lie, you don't lie
  17. Hung with Hendrix
  18. Employed Duane Allman
  19. Still alive

I like his work from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers through Derek and the Dominos. Before that, his playing was too raw and, after that, his playing was too polished. (In my humble and not so knowledgeable opinion - I have no post-Dominos albums.)

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I love his guitar playing.

What I've got that you may not have:

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Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Stevie Ray Vaughan

Eric Clapton is undoubtedly rock's greatest guitarist, but SRV was as one with his instrument. I first heard/saw him on what must have been a rerun of his 1983 performance on Austin City Limits and I was immediately hooked. I just got the video of the Austin City Limits performances and relived the magic all over again. I could give or take the later performances, but 1983's was just incredible.

And, yes, that was SRV on Back to the Beach!

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Jeff Healey Jeff Healey

I first heard and saw Jeff Healey performing on a TV talk show; the song was "Confidence Man" and, needless to say, I went out and bought the cassette, See the Light. I would give the album a mixed review. His second album (not including the Road House soundtrack), Hell to Pay, was better, with cuts like "Full Circle", "I Can't Get My Hands on You", and "Hell to Pay". Still, I don't listen to either album very often. I love the faster high-energy songs like the tracks mentioned above. The slower and mellower songs generally leave me cold - either the material just isn't that good or his voice just doesn't fit these types of songs.

The third album, Feel This, struck me as kind of disco-y at first. However, I recorded it on one side of a cassette and Dan Baird's Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired on the other and the cassette soon became one of my favorites, albeit a little bit loud!

Cover to Cover, of course, is great - although I just discovered that the British version has 4 extra songs! I would love to hear some of the bootleg albums listed on Karen West's discography page: Cream, Hendrix, and Santana songs, and performing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.

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Black Crowes Black Crowes

Their first album, Shake Your Money Maker, made me think, "Hey, a new, late 60's, early 70's Rolling Stones!" Their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, was a seamless progression of good songs; it reminded of Abbey Road.

Their next two albums, Amorica (with the expurgated cover) and Three Snakes and One Charm, never seemed to get the adrenalin going and a number of the songs seemed to be recycling melodies and riffs I'd heard elsewhere ... fast-forward several years into the future ... Hmmm ... the albums grow on you after repeated listenings - the songs are actually pretty good!

And then, By Your Side. Now we're talking. This is the Black Crowes we all know and love.

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Rank Strangers Rank Strangers


Paul Rodgers and Paul Kossoff - need I say more?

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Richard and Linda Thompson Richard Thompson

"They say running into you is like running into trouble; bend my ear and I see double. You're everybody's idea of a waste of time!"

Three Dog Night

"Joy to the World", "Never Been to Spain", "Shambala", "Celebrate", "Mama Told Me Not To Come", ... Unbelievable!

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Off the Top of My Head

Classical Music

I played violin for 5 or 6 years when I was young and Little Richard was right: "The same beat you find in rock, you find in Bach!" Or to paraphrase him with regard to violins and guitars, "The same lead you find in rock, you find in Bach." Listen to Itzhak Perlman perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D and you'll know what I mean. I also like Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi - pretty much any violin music in their styles.

Alex Measday /