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50 years ago today. (Part 1)

Phil, its ALL good. If it makes your toes twitch or your brain light up its doing its job. People who flame over music are just revealing their own limitations.

Anyway, since we are on 50th Anniversaries, I’ll add Genesis “Nursery Cryme” to the mix - God, what a vintage year that was! And next year it will be my all-time favourite prog rock, Foxtrot!

I’ve been listening to a lot of what? Acid-Jazz, Trip-Hop, Lounge, Downtempo over the last 18-24months. It’s hard to know what to call it. Often sampled and remixed older jazz with other electronic aspects. I don’t think Brian would like it because as it’s often lots samples it can be very repetitive.


It works! As for repetition, if I can give rapt attention to Heilung then I have more tolerance for it than you think! Sampling has been around for 30 - 40 years, I think it is often lazy but it has its place. I could test your musical tolerance by asking you what you think of Webern’s Symphony Op 21! That is all repetitions, mirrors and inversions - and brilliant!


Argus is the album for me. John Peel played The King Will Come on his radio show and I just had to get it - first album I ever heard on stereo headphones in a record shop.

It was my 1st Ash album but it doesn’t get to 50 till next year. It’s one of my favourites too.

That’s another for Novermber. Busy month November 1971! Genesis are not huge favourites of mine. They’re a band who do things which I really like or really don’t like. But I’ve never been a huge fan.

Better discriminating appreciation than adoration! Some of their pieces - and the Floyds - leave me cold. Others will be with me to the grave! Apocalypse in 9/8 from Foxtrot is just brilliant, layering a solo in 4/4 over 9/8 is something that I would never have thought of, but I can see how it could leave some people disorientated!

Keep up with the anniversaries, Andy, you lead me to re-evaluate pieces that I might have undervalued.

Hear, hear! Having little musical training, I appreciate hearing how you professionals hear these old favorites.

I would have thought that you Mountain Goats should choose “Traveling light” by J.J. Gale…

I just found time to listen to this and realized that until now I had only known the short version on the original album. Thanks - glad I finally heard it, even though the “missing” lyrics seem more appropriate to our age of evolving climate change than to the 1970s, which through my golden haze of memory seem more idealistic.

73 Scott

Another I missed, Tapestry by Carole King. My sister had this just after it came out. I know because my dad was being pressured by me and her to buy a stereo record player and that arrived Christmas 1972 and this was also on the old mono record player. Anyway I came home from school and my sister had new record. I’d never heard of Carole King and couldn’t understand how my sister could buy a record that wasn’t in “the hit parade”. I was intrigued that music may exist that is not played by the BBC! Anyway she beat the hell out of that record and I didn’t like it. Well “I feel the Earth Move” was OK but the rest was all a bit whiny in my considered junior school level of sophistication. She left for Uni in 1975 and I never heard it again.

Till one day a few years back Mrs. FMF bought me a CD copy. She did that because I’d been listening to tracks from Tapestry because I’d heard something on the radio from the album and was trying to find the track. I wrote at the time it would 35+ years since I’d heard it and I never listened to it, it was just on a lot in my sister’s bedroom. I played the CD and could sing along with every track knowing 95% of the words despite the passage of time. Those lyrics and tunes were burnt into my memories and listening to it as a more mature person, it’s really rather good. It must be, it still holds a raft of records for sales, length at #1, length of time in the charts etc.

I hear those opening piano chords and I’m in short pants waiting for the next Apollo moon landing.


A few years ago we went to Sydney to see the Australian production of the musical “Beautiful” about the life of Carole King. It was a great show and told a lot about her life which I had not known. Overcame a lot of personal difficulty but still wrote many memorable songs, mainly for others to perform before she became a singer/pianist performing her own work. Tapestry is one of those legendary albums which almost everyone who was awake in the 70s will have heard, purchased and/or played many times. I’ve still got my copy, in LP and CD.

Well, if I’m going to be tortured with that image, you may as well be too:

(one take wonder in my lunch break with the phone sitting on the windowsill, so apologies for the audio quality)


Nice playing Andrew!

Our next video + recording effort is currently in production. This will be a minor UK hit single (reached #54 in the charts) from 1980 when I was still at junior school. Everything in this thread (if on topic as ‘50 years ago today’) happened in the first year of my life!

It was a vintage year, a vintage decade, I doubt we will ever see another time with so much musical exploration happening. Perhaps its atmosphere led you into being a musician.

I never listened much to Carole King, at that time I thought her music too soft-centred for me. Listening now to that track what strikes me is how beautifully constructed it is. I find it very difficult to learn - or even hear! - the lyrics of any song because I listen very vertically, hearing the thread, the voice of every instrument individually as well as the overall structure. That is a disadvantage since I have to read the lyrics to get the full intention of the track.

Tom, an aside: for virtuoistic bass playing, have you seen Dream Theatre’s Dance of Destiny, see it on the “Breaking the Fourth Wall” video.

That’s just what I thought. All the tracks are like that, even just the ones with Carole singing and playing the piano, beautifully constructed. It’s also extremely well recorded in that you can hear all what is going on.

I know what you mean Brian. We had Chick Corea passing a few weeks back and you and Tom were surprised I wasn’t a fan. Well I knew he was a brilliant technical musician but I didn’t like his tunes (or lack of them as I said). Well I listened to lots and lots of videos on Youtube he’d done and I still don’t like his tunes. But what I noticed was how talented he was but more how he only appeared with bass players and drummers who were supremely skilled, people at the top of their game. I still don’t like his tunes but boy are there some talented people out there.

As I looked at what was released in '71 I get more impressed. 69-70 saw a huge change with lots of new groups and their 1st albums. 71 shows them sometimes having that troublesome second album but many soaring higher and higher.

I’ve got a cracking album for you Brian for May 71 but you’ll have to wait for that :wink:

I think you’ve directed me to that one before Brian. It’s excellent.

Mind you, don’t assume that just because I’m a bass player, that I’m a fan of “virtuoso” bass playing - I’m not! Give me something like this every time. Unlike his overly busy bassline on Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life”, on this one, James Jamerson keeps his discipline and barely breaks out of a minim (apart from the intro of course). It’s still full of soul though.

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You’re right Tom, there are times when you need something just going dum-dum-dum-dum steadily and times when you need a contrapuntal melody. The skill or magic is knowing which to use and when.

Very true, the bass is an essential element of the rhythm, but it is also good to see it step forward and shine. There is a tendency to do that a lot with metal prog and the current generation of Japanese bands (from Band Maid to Asterism with Ningen Isu more traditional) but the extreme is Jinjer where some commentators talk of “lead bass”! To me, a good melodic bass solo can be as expressive as a cello.

I am genuinely agog!

19th April 1971, L.A. Woman The Doors. I heard this when my sister brought it home in early 73. I have a copy on vinyl, Mrs. FMF has a copy on vinyl and we have a CD reissue.

So many good songs but I suppose it has to be Riders On The Storm simply for the Ray Manzerak’s wonderous Rhodes piano playing.

And the story behind the tune. There’s a comment about how effortless Ray Manzarek is when playing, he’s just so relaxed. Gorgeous stuff.


Thanks, Andy, an impeccable choice.