To me, Alan Parsons is a sound engineer and always will. Many of you including myself, have probably been introduced to his work through the seminal Pink Floyd masterpiece, Dark Side of the Moon, recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Alan Parsons himself.
I discovered the universe of Steely Dan through an interview of one of my favorite session drummers, Steve Gadd. Gadd is renowned for his simple yet intricate drumming patterns and built most of his career around triplet fills. He’s played in sessions with Paul Simon and Eric Clapton, most notably on J.J. Cale’s cover “Cocaine” and Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”.
Madman Across the Water holds a special place in my heart. “Tiny Dancer” was the first song I ever learned to sing and I remember the falsettos in the choruses being very hard to tame. Especially knowing that Sir Elton John reaches them full voice. Even though this single is very well-known, I find it unfortunate that Madman remains one of John’s least-known albums.
One cannot talk about power pop without mentioning their name. By now you probably would have heard of a band called Big Star, but in 1972 it was far from the case. #1 Record was headed for its eponymous place in music history but no one had predicted it to be four decades later. The debut album by Big Star was a commercial failure at the time although, for the reasons I will cite later, the record was ahead of its time.
The one and only album by Derek and the Dominos. The epitome of Derek’s multi-facetted musical character yet featuring him during one of his darkest times. None of his previous bands did seem to fulfill his creative inspiration until then.
If it were not for the Small Faces, I would have never written storytelling segments in my album. I have to give entire recognition to Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake for the idea of a narrative parallel in Gizzy Limelight.
As you listen to modern music repeatedly in coffee shops, you start to develop this supernatural ability to discern music recorded on analog tape and music captured digitally. Maybe not as useful of an ability as flying or shooting fireballs but definitely rewarding when you discover a new artist via this technique.
I’ve spent a lot of time looking for the original pressing of this record. A rare gatefold that has been re-issued a number of times. Not even sure if the one I own is in fact an original but I finally got a hold of it in Japan. I’ll tell you, if you can’t find a rare vinyl you’re desperately searching for, fly to Japan. I can guarantee they have every single type of pressing you’ve ever imagined of.
My first encounter with the universe of The Who was at the music conservatory in France, almost a decade ago. I have to thank my drum teacher for this. She came one day with a stacked set of stapled paper and told me to read it for the next lesson. It was the printed Wikipedia page of The Who. “Are you familiar with rock operas?” she added. I didn’t even know who The Who were.
As much as I dislike rankings, I would definitely put The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at one of the top spots in a list of best albums. I’ll tell you the reasons why.