Saturday Morning Music

1. “Exit Music (For a Film)” – Radiohead (live 1998)

A beautifully macabre love song reminiscent of the story of Romeo and Juliet (it ought to be, it was featured in the 1996 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio).  The mellotron choral arrangement played by Jonny Greenwood is surreal and the fuzz bass that blasts its way into the final section (played by Colin Greenwood) is chilling.  One of Radiohead’s best songs, and that’s saying something.

2. “Arnold Layne” – The Pink Floyd (1967)

For most people Pink Floyd started in 1972 when Dark Side of the Moon was released.  What many people do not know is that the band had already gone through a series of changes by then -from psychedelic pop pioneers in 1966-67 to losing their frontman and chief songwriter (Syd Barrett) in 1968, to progressive rock giants in 1970 (with Atom Heart Mother).  While the Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd probably does not sit well with fans who only listen to The Wall and Wish You Were Here, The Pink Floyd’s (as they were called then) influence on British pop music in early 1967 is unmistakeable.  For evidence I refer you to Their Satanic Majesties Request by The Rolling Stones (1967).

3.  Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) – vocal section – Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys (1966)

A lot of blogs ask its readers to “stick with” a link that might start slowly.  If you only stick with one link this year, make it this next one.  This link features Brian Wilson recording one of the parts of his trademark harmonies.  Without accompaniment it sounds tuneless and out of place. The engineer then asks him to do it one more time, with the backing track.  The sound that comes out at 0:25 can only be described as transcendent.  It is Brian’s voice tracked multiple (4? 5?) times singing all of the parts of the passage.  The man was utterly brilliant.


4. “Beyond and Before” – Yes (1969)

Behold the sound of the Rickenbacker bass!  Chris Squire’s bass screams out the intro to this highly listenable song from Yes’s debut album in 1969.  While Yes would not find overwhelming success until 1971, this song shows a band with a lot of promise.  It has above average bass playing, well above average drumming (from Bill Bruford) and some catchy harmonies.

5. “Days” – The Kinks (1969)

One day I hope to understand why this song is not considered a Kinks classic a la “Waterloo Sunset,” “Victoria,” “Lola,”  and the early hits.  It’s sad, romantic, hopeful and gorgeous.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
I’m thinking of the days,
I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

I bless the light,
I bless the light that lights on you believe me.
And though you’re gone,
You’re with me every single day, believe me.

Days I’ll remember all my life,
Days when you can’t see wrong from right.
You took my life,
But then I knew that very soon you’d leave me,
But it’s all right,
Now I’m not frightened of this world, believe me.

I wish today could be tomorrow,
The night is dark,
It just brings sorrow anyway.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
I’m thinking of the days,
I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

Days I’ll remember all my life,
Days when you can’t see wrong from right.
You took my life,
But then I knew that very soon you’d leave me,
But it’s all right,
Now I’m not frightened of this world, believe me.
Days.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
I’m thinking of the days,
I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

I bless the light,
I bless the light that shines on you believe me.
And though you’re gone,
You’re with me every single day, believe me.
Days.

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