Friday, 17 June 2016

When I hear that rock 'n roll, it gets down to my soul

I love music, it's my biggest passion. If you want to make my heart grow fondly of you, talk about music and you can't go wrong. My all time favourite music is from the '60s and '70s; British invasion, mod, psychedelic, folk, prog rock, glam rock, oh I love it all!! I don't tend to branch out very often, I know what I like and am perfectly happy to stay there (in fact my natural instinct is mild offence when people try and recommend new bands I 'need' to listen to. Um, no I don't!) I don't see anything wrong with knowing what you like, and music is such a comfort to me that I don't feel any need to 'shake things up'. I'm quite satisfied to be stuck in a time warp, after all most modern music wouldn't even exist without these predecessors who changed music for the better. I wanted to share a selection of my favourite bands and artists, along with some favoured tracks. This was originally going to be a "top 10" but I couldn't narrow it down from 11, ha!

Pink Floyd


Pink Floyd were one of the first bands to get me interested in older music and they've always remained my most favourite. I personally favour their earlier more psychedelic sounds with Syd Barrett present (I really love Syd Barrett, you should check out his solo work too ♥ I struggled not to add him to this list as a solo artist, rightfully he deserves to be so as he means so much to me). But I often feel guilty for drawing attention to the earlier stuff because I truly love all of Pink Floyd's music. I feel like some people are intimidated by Pink Floyd, or don't really "get it" as they're mostly a prog band and most of their albums are concept based, but I'd honestly urge you to sit down and give at least one of their albums a listen all the way through as you really can't judge them otherwise. A truly timeless band, their music sounds just as fresh and relevant today as it did when originally released. I don't even know what to say beyond ugh I really really love Pink Floyd!!!!!


Queen


I adore Queen, and although they're a hugely successful band it's unfortunate how little people actually know of them and their back catalogue beyond the hits. People dismiss them because they don't like Bohemian Rhapsody or Radio Ga Ga which is a crying shame because they're so much more! They literally crossed over every single genre, they were so incredibly innovative, and all four of them were so talented in their own right. To a lot of people Queen = Freddie Mercury, which is such a disservice to John, Brian and Roger, they were so much more than Freddie's backing band (and Queen is actually Roger and Brian's band if you want to get down to it). The four of them together were a magic that will never be matched.


David Bowie


I remember it took me a while to get into David Bowie when I first began listening to him, although now I have no idea why! He's such an inspirational human being, and I'm always transfixed by his lyrics, he could write a song like no other. He's another one of the few musicians that I never grow tired of no matter how many times I listen to the same songs over and over, and another who's sound never dates.


Donovan


I find Donovan such a one of a kind. His music is the sound of my daydreams, if that makes sense. If I could live in a fantasy world, it would be pretty much like a Donovan song, and as such I always feel completely transported whenever I listen to him. Often when I'm in a funk, it'll be a Donovan song heard out of the blue that speaks to me and pulls me out of it and for that I can never thank him enough.


The Beatles


Confession: I love Ringo slightly more than I love The Beatles, and I arguably might not have ever gotten into the Beatles if it weren't for Ringo. I remember when I first began listening to them it was like I suddenly understood so much of pop culture references, and discovered that songs I'd loved for years were actually Beatles covers and I'd never realised!


Small Faces


I've always loved the Small Faces, Steve Marriott has the most incredibly powerful voice and I just love their sound so much, whether it be their classic mod sound or their more psychedelic, concept offerings. It makes me sad how underrated they are too; whilst they're undeniably popular with fans of the time period, so many people are more familiar with and think you're referring to the Faces with Rod Stewart which is such a shame. They achieved so much in only 4 years, and they're so distinctively '60s.


The Monkees


Often dismissed as a "TV band" (which is ironic when you consider how many other bands have been manufactured that no one bats an eye lid at!) The Monkees are so much more. I really respect their story, how hard they fought to be taken seriously as musicians and how much they had stacked against them. I love how each members diverse personality is so securely stamped throughout, lending a completely different sound to each track and yet still working harmoniously together: Micky brought the soul, Peter the rock, Michael the country and Davy the musical theatre. And the TV show is absolute gold!


Nancy Sinatra


One of my all time favourite women, and ashamedly the only woman on this list. I love her sass and attitude, she's truly one of a kind, and she's absolutely one of my biggest style inspirations to boot! She's always done her own thing, and her music is so distinctively Nancy. A gorgeous woman in every sense.


The Move


I actually got into The Move because of Nancy Sinatra: she does a cover of Flowers in the Rain, and I noticed one day when looking at my record that it was penned by Roy Wood. "That guy from Wizzard who sings about Christmas???" Yes, the very same! I'd never heard of The Move before that second, but as soon as I gave them a listen it was immediate adoration. I find their songs so catchy and upbeat (even when the lyrical matter isn't!) and they deserve to be so much more popular than they are. Their sound is so quintessential of the late '60s.


Cat Stevens


Cat Stevens is the only artist on here that I got into kinda because of my parents. My parents aren't music orientated people and only had a handful of CDs, one of which was Cat Stevens. I never realised until I first watched the film Harold and Maude (one of my favourites!) for which he provides the soundtrack, and realised how many of the tracks I already recognised. It's just the perfect music to relax to, and I love the raw emotion to his voice.


King Crimson


Last but by no means least, King Crimson I got into blindly because I loved the cover art of In The Court of the Crimson King. They took a little listening for me to "get it", but as soon as I did I was head over heels and they've remained one of my most favourite bands ever since. They've had many different line ups, my favourite being the original although that's not to discredit the later albums which are wonderful. My favourite song is I Talk To The Wind, which unfortunately isn't available on YouTube. 

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