1. Beck - Venom Confection
GHOST MUSIC(E-Pro remix by Homelife)
VENOM CONFECTION(E-Pro remix by Green, Music and Gold)
It amazes me that as a Beck fan, the only record I own is this remix single of E-Pro. This musician has had such a major effect on my musical tastes over the years, I would think that I would've managed to get my hands on at least a couple of his rare LP releases. Alas, that's not the case. His music has spread wide across many genres throughout his career. Tastes of folk, hip-hop, rock, punk, indie and many others. Known mostly for his 90's hit singles 'Loser', 'Where It's At' and 'Devil's Haircut', he has also had albums entirely composed of acoustic, dance-funk and many collaborations. His more unheralded work includes co-writing Charlotte Gainsbourg's 'IRM', composing the songs played by the band Sex Bob-omb in the movie 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' or his home-recorded collaboration project 'Record Club', found entirely on his website. He gets together with various other musicians and covers an album by other artists.
His Scientology doesn't appear to have crept into his lyrics, though former band members have said it caused a rift between band members. I couldn't care less about his personal life as long as he doesn't hurt anybody or cause any problems within his family. His music, has always kept me interested. It hasn't been so different as to turn me off and certainly has always re-invented itself just enough to always keep me wondering what will come next.
2. The Bee Gees - Spirits Have Flown
TOO MUCH HEAVEN
LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT
SPIRITS (HAVING FLOWN)
STOP (THINK AGAIN)
Ahhh the disco era; when the male register mysteriously jumped an octave and a half. Whether it is a coincidence that tight-crotched bell-bottoms and falsetto three-part harmonies aligned so well, we'll never know. It just seems unnatural to me that men should sing that way, but perhaps I would do it too if I could reach those notes on a constant basis. Disco doesn't always go well with me but I can tolerate the Bee Gees. Also, they composed 'To Love Somebody', which is a song my dad and family love to play and I have since joined in on.
3. Beethoven's 3rd Symphony("Eroica") - Opus 55(performed by Rochester Orchestra)
My only real exposure to classical music were the piano lessons I took about 20 years ago. I can tell what of it I like, but I can't really tell whether a particular orchestra is performing a piece better or more true than another. 'Oh they are playing this piece far too Allegro.' Is that a thing someone would say? I am not sure, but I suppose it could be.
This symphony is a beautiful piece that must have been written prior to Beethoven encountering the difficulties he faced later in his life, as it has a grand feeling to it and doesn't seem strung with anger or sadness.
4. Beethoven's 5th - Opus 67/Mozart's Symphony No. 39(performed by Vienna Symphonic Orchestra)
SIDE 1. - BEETHOVEN
SIDE 2. - MOZART
Beethoven's most familiar piece(and arguably most familiar by any composer) is the 5th (dun dun dun DUN...dun dun dun DUN). However, in listening to the full piece, it does play on that memorable piece for too long for my liking (paving the way for some of today's annoyingly catchy radio tunes?)
The 5th was apparently a slow-moving project; several other pieces to be released prior and the 6th symphony to be debuted simultaneously. The feel of the whole piece is fairly dark, perhaps reflecting his increasing deafness and oncoming illness at the time.
On the contrast, Mozart had accepted a very low paying job prior to writing his 39th and it does not come through in the piece at all. The piece is quite happy and shows no stains of sadness. However, there are obviously no recordings of Mozart himself playing, so maybe it came out in performance.
5. Bing Crosby - White Christmas
ADESTES FIDELES(Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful)
GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS(If Only In My Dreams)
SANTA CLAUSE IS COMIN' TO TOWN
IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
CHRISTMAS IN KILLARNEY
Born in Tacoma, Washington, Bing Crosby's (perhaps) most famous song about Christmas in Hawaii.
This album was the christmas soundtrack to my childhood. Perhaps not every kid associates Mele Kalikimaka and Christmas in Killarney with the season as much as, say, Jingle Bells or Silent Night (although he sang those too). His suave singing style made it easy for his career to be so successful and for him to be influential to crooners in years following his career.
This record will always take me back to opening presents in front of our fireplace as a kid, always eating the orange and apple in my stocking prior to the candy that accompanied it.