I’ve been waiting to see what might have come out this week. It seems that the music industry wants to see how many “explicit” releases it can sell to the masses. I refuse to review those releases. I don’t think it does the industry justice to have 4-letter words riddled throughout the music. It puts the music industry in the gutter, where I prefer to stay out of. So, maybe this should be a memorial to the music industry.
So, I decided to do a memorial blog on the artists we have lost this year, and it’s been many. I am including my favorite songs of the artist as well.
- David Bowie – I have a lot of favorites of David. Although I like Blackstar a lot, my two favorites are two that were never released as singles, “Right” from “Young Americans” and “Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (reprise)” from “Diamond Dogs”.
- Glenn Frey – Ah yes, The Eagles. But I like his solo career. “Strange Weather”, “The Heat Is On”, and “Smuggler’s Blues” from his “Live” CD.
- Paul Kanter – For those of us that grew up in the “Decade of Love”, the Jefferson Airplane was one of the main bands. My all time favorite of theirs was also done by Crosby, Stills and Nash, “Wooden Ships”, especially off “The Woodstock Experience” CD (the live version). Others from the Woodstock LP includes “Wont You Try/Saturday Afternoon” and “Volunteers”. Put your freak flag on to listen to these.
- Maurice White – “Do you remember…the 21st of September”. The driving force behind Earth, Wind & Fire, he wrote and sung some great funk and some beautiful ballads. Favorites include anything off the “Spirit” CD and “Boogie Wonderland”. Oh yea, let’s don’t forget “Let’s Groove”
- Two members of the Progressive Rock group “Emerson, Lake and Palmer” left us this year. For #5 it is Keith Emerson, probably one of the greatest keyboard players that ever lived. Oddly enough, most of ELP’s music was written by Keith and the one I will mention next. For Keith, my faves would be “Abaddon’s Bolero” from “Trilogy” and “Piano Improvisations” from the “Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends” live CD.
- The other member is Greg Lake. Where Keith was the speed musician, Gerg was the heart and soul of ELP. My favorites are “From The Beginnings” from “Trilogy”, “Still…You Turn Me On” from “Brain Salad Surgery” and “Epitaph/The Court of the Crimson King” from “Songs of a Lifetime”.
- Prince – The king of the Minnesota sound, Prince was definitely out of the mainstream, although some of his songs made it mainstream. My faves are “Purple Rain” and “I Could Die For You” from the “Purple Rain” soundtrack.
- Phife Dawg – from A Tribe Called Quest. Now, I have to say, I have never listened to Tribe, but I did find out that it is Mario Batali’s favorite band (go figure). So I will leave this to those who know Tribe well.
- Merle Haggard-The “Okie From Muskogee”. One of the country greats. Now, I’m not a big country fan but I did play a few Merle songs when I played with a country band. Besides Okie, “The Fighting Side of Me” is another great.
- Leonard Cohen-Now, I do listen to folk music from time to time and have heard some Cohen tunes in my day. Favorites include “Hallelujah”, “Suzanne”, and “Bird On A Wire”.
- Leon Russell-My favorite picture of Leon is on the cover of his Leon Live album, with his patriotic hi-hat. He was probably the first musician that I know of that brought Gospel music to the masses. My favorite pieces are “Jumpin’ Jack Flash/Youngblood’, “Delta Lady”, and “Stranger In A Strange Land” from the Leon Live LP and “Tightrope” from Carney.
- Last, but not least, George Michael. Here is a man who helped forge the music of the 80’s with Wham! and then had a very good solo career. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know I don’t normally write about songs that are explicit or very immoral in character. But, my all time favorite song of George’s is “I Want You Sex” on the Faith LP, not because of Part 1 but because of Part 2. The horns kick it well. Other songs include “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “Careless Whisper”, “Last Christmas” and “Everything She Wants” (especially the remix version).
- An honorable mention (if there is such a thing on a memorial list) is Debbie Reynolds. She wsa mainly an actress but she made it on the charts with “Tammy”, the theme from the Tammy movies.
Now I’m writing this on December 30th. There is still one more day in the year. We have had way to many artists leave us this year. Let this be an all inclusive list.