Category: Music

Guns and what??

We all know that the BBC suffers from errors of judgement from time to time but the rating of “Sweet Child of Mine” has having the best guitar riff by Total Guitar’s readers suggests that they are really quite logical in comparison.
Here is their “Top 20”

1. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
2. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
3. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
4. Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
5. Enter Sandman – Metallica
6. Layla – Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton
7. Master Of Puppets – Metallica
8. Back In Black – AC/DC
9. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix
10. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
11. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
12. All Right Now – Free
13. Plug In Baby – Muse
14. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
15. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – Van Halen
16. Walk This Way – Aerosmith w Run DMC
17. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
18. No-One Knows – Queens Of The Stone Age
19. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
20. Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine

I can’t believe they had “Aerosmith” and not Dire Straits- something like “It Never Rains” is just way ahead….


You really got me

Kinks lead singer Ray Davies was shot in the leg after he chased down a purse-snatcher in New Orleans.
Thank heavens it wasn’t worse, and congratulations to Davies for defending his woman, even though police chief Eddie Compass said, “I’m sorry for what happened but Mr Davies showed poor judgment in running after the individuals” .
Screw that. I’d rather have a real man like Davies next to me than a wussy like Compass.
It would have been better if Davies had been armed with a gun.


Radley Balko and his readers have been coming up with lists of the best-ever cover versions of songs.
I don’t have much to add to that, but if you want to have a nice hearty laugh, do yourself a favor and pick up Putumayo’s Cover The World collection: a dozen or more popular songs covered by “world music” artists. Some are great, some are so-so, but most all of them will give you a chuckle. And they might inspire you. Standouts: Albert Pla’s strange yet irresistible flamenco version of Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side” (with a gypsy chorus replacing the soul singers), French rapper Yannick (yes, such a beast does exist) making delightful hay of Frankie Valli’s “Oh, What A Night”, and last but not least the Okinawan girl group Nenes taking a stab at Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”, which is somehow both hilarious in its incongruity, and oddly moving for its sheer sincerity.
Oh, and Bonnie Raitt’s cover of John Hiatt’s “A Thing Called Love” is a classic, although I still prefer the original.

Who else hates R & B?

Is it just me or are so called R & B “artists” actually no talent Gangster wanna bes who don’t have the ability to either write their own songs, play an instrument or hold a note?
I am quite amused when I see them on Rage and Video Hits trying to impress with incredulous stats on how many people they have killed, how tough they are, how badly they treat women (Ho’s, bitches etc…), how all this violence, disgusting social attitudes and total lack of singing ability makes them irresistible to said Ho’s and Bitches and how even though they always seem to be pumping out this crap from the back seat of a Bentley, they are still the same person they always were on the block.

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For the love of the song

I have a compilation by one of my favorite artists ever, the great Austrian baritone Hermann Prey. It’s fairly typical of such “greatest-hits”-type albums: opera and operetta arias (some in hilarious translations– anyone ever heard of “Auf In Dem Kampf, Torero” from Carmen?), lieder, and a few snippets of a Bach cantata. What makes this particular disc stand out for me, are tracks 7 and 8 on disc 2. Two classic showtunes: “So In Love” from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, and “On The Street Where You Live” from Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady, which may just be my two favorite tunes from my two favorite musicals. And Prey’s may be my favorite renditions of all.
I realize that I may be putting my musical-comedy credibility in jeopardy here. What is so wonderful about these and how can they outdo the more famous renditions by non-operatic types? And I must admit it is amusing at first to hear Prey’s distinctively Teutonic tongue roll over some of the most famous syllables in popular song:
I haff offfen valked down zis schtreet beforr
But ze payfment alvays stayed benees my feet beforr.
All at vunce am I, seffral stories high
Knowing I’m on ze schtreet ver you liff…

But once you get over the accent, you realize that not only does Prey know this song inside and out, he loves it. Truly loves it. That’s not common among Europeans in relation to American songs. Prey’s understanding of the song and lyrics, and obvious joy at being able to sing it, oozes through the speakers and frequently leaves me grinning like a fool at how he manages to get across his infectious enthusiasm.
A wise music teacher once said,” You cannot merely sing. You must also speak.” I dare you to find anyone who speaks to you in this music more than the late and horribly lamented Hermann Prey.