Search: "the great songs"

Elvis Costello already had six great albums in five years under his belt by the time he took a complete left turn into baroque pop territory with 1982′s “Imperial Bedroom.” “Beyond Belief” is the first song from that record—his best—and right away, the listener can tell something is different. The production, handled by Beatles engineer [...]

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Well, I didn’t have to think too hard about adding the first thrash metal song to this series of classic rock n’ roll tunes. I’ve been listening to a custom-built 1-minute edit of this track for the last four months as I prepare for my shot at the 2010 U.S. Air Guitar National title. The [...]

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Marvin Gaye‘s 1971 album “What’s Going On” is generally regarded as one of the best soul albums ever made. (In 2003, the album was ranked number 6 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.) The title track is known the world over as a classic (The magazine ranked it the [...]

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First off: If you are looking at the group name and the song title and you think this is one of The Beach Boys‘ earlier surf songs, DO NOT STOP READING THIS. It’s not. It is, simply, one of the most beautiful and original pop songs ever recorded. By 1966, the idea of Beach Boys [...]

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Definitely one of the most original and haunting rock songs ever produced, Pink Floyd‘s “Astronomy Domine” is the stunning opening track from the group’s first full-length record, 1967′s “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” Every time I hear it, it makes me think that this is what space “sounds” like. Or how it sounds [...]

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“Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? Do you realize we’re floating in space?” So begins the most recent song to appear in The Great Songs series. It’s a simple statement that says so much about humanity’s tiny, fragile existence and forms the beginning of multiple musical crescendos that make you want [...]

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After joining The Byrds for one legendary album in 1967 (“Sweetheart of the Rodeo”) and singlehandedly turning them into a country band (the first major rock act to do so), restless singer/songwriter Gram Parsons moved on. He quit The Byrds, took Byrds member Chris Hillman with him and formed The Flying Burrito Brothers. When I [...]

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You knew it was bound to happen. Hell, I’m wondering why it took me 10 weeks to get to this band. Here it is. Let the debate begin. My 10th choice (not ranked, just the 10th “Great Song” I’ve chosen for this series) for a classic, timeless rock n’ roll song is by a band [...]

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The fact that Joy Division‘s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” charted five times in the U.K. and New Zealand between its release in 1980 and 1988 and has been re-issued three more times since speaks volumes to its enduring appeal. The legend of Joy Division is as follows: A Manchester band, they released their debut [...]

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George Jones has been called the Frank Sinatra of country music. He is the ultimate country crooner and has a voice that sounds like he is in severe emotional pain. By March of 1980, he truly was. His career was in the toilet, his life was a blur of nonstop cocaine and alcohol abuse, his [...]

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Sometimes the best tunes come from the spark of an outside collaborator. David Bowie entered the studio to sing backing tracks for a new Queen song, but ended up working with the group on another song called “Still Life.” Eventually that morphed into “Under Pressure,” which was credited to Bowie and all four members of [...]

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Producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff formed Philadelphia International Records in 1971 to rival the Berry Gordy Motown empire, and the sound of Philly Soul, which had been bubbling for some time, was solidified. “Backstabbers,” from the album of the same name was performed by The O’Jays, but it was written by Huff and the [...]

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In June 1967, just after The Beatles recorded “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Pink Floyd recorded “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” at the same studio, The Zombies entered Abbey Road to record nine songs that would appear on “Odessey and Oracle” (and no, that’s not my misspelling, but one by the album cover’s designer which The [...]

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Now that the weather’s getting better, it’s just about time to bring out one of my favorite summer songs. It’s not like a Beach Boys fun-in-the-sun-surfin’-safari summer song or anything like that, though. It’s more of an obtuse, I’m-feeling-kinda-lonely-and-surly song. 1992′s “Summer Babe” was the first song I ever heard by Pavement and it was [...]

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Week three of our new series spotlights a song that never, ever gets old. Some how, every time I hear it, it makes me want to sing to the rafters. I suppose it’s as close to a gospel song as I’ll ever have in my life. It’s the lead track off of 1995′s “Tomorrow the [...]

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