25 songs in 25 days #10

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 10 – a song by your favourite band

Led Zeppelin – Boogie with Stu (1975)

Yes, I know I’ve already had a Led Zep song (yesterday for hope) but hey, although I’ve lots of favourite bands, Led Zeppelin is and long has been right up there at the top. So why not? “Boogie with Stu” is the third track on side 4 of the 1975 album ‘Physical Graffiti’. The album came out in the February of my 16th year. And by then I was all long hair and loons and patchouli and spending my hard earned part-time job cash on an album a month. ¬†There’s a pile of good stuff on Physical Graffiti, but Boogie with Stu stands out as a memorable track as we played it death at a mate’s party that year. He lived in a house on the beach in Sussex where I live and, as the party spilled out onto the shingle, Boogie with Stu was played again and again. It was a good party. Until the police came round and we had to turn things down.

Artful albums #9: Roger Dean – Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)

Tales-Yes-Cover

Roger Dean (b.1944), a graduate of the Royal College of Art, together with Storm Thorgerson (more about him later) is credited with the transformation of the album cover from perfunctory packaging to the status of art form in its own right. This example is the gatefold cover for the 1973 Yes album ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’. But you really should check out his website and have a look at the other stuff he’s done over the years –¬†http://www.rogerdean.com

25 songs in 25 days #9

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 9 – a song that makes you hopeful

Led Zeppelin – Going to California (1971)

I still remember buying my first copy of Led Zep IV about a month after it was released. It was the first album (actually the first record) I ever bought – so a good one to start with. Broke open my money box, cycled down to the village and watched the assistant behind the record counter in Woolworths count out the pennies and pass back the threepenny bits which were no longer legal tender. And from that day on those precious vinyl sides got play after play, firstly on my father’s monogramme and then on my Dansette a year later. Every track is as well known to me as any track could be, and each has a special place for different reasons. But ‘Going to California’ has always for me been a song of hope – it’s final line helping me through those teenage ‘angst’ years at first and on several subsequent occasions when I’ve felt a bit down in the dumps about one thing or another.

…telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems…

IV

IV

25 songs in 25 days #8

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 8 – a song that reminds you of your first love

Justin Hayward – Forever Autumn (1978)

Yes I know – it’s a sad song. But there’s a reason for picking a sad one for the day 8 song; albeit one with a happy ending. My first love was very definitely my current love. Fell in love in ’77; still in love 37 years later. And with the same person – my wife, Sally. We met at art college – a foundation year – following which Sal got a place on a Ceramics degree course in the Midlands, 250 miles or so away from the South Coast where I lived. And as, in those early days, my heart was heavy, I latched onto the lyrics from this song.

…like the sun through the leaves you came to love me

like a leaf on the breeze you blew away…

Then I thought “stuff this…”, packed my bags and followed her up. Best decision I ever made.

25 songs in 25 days #7

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 7 – a song that reminds you of the past summer.

Well, as I’m writing this in the middle of the 2014 summer, I’m going to assume that this refers to last year. Which is good as today’s song was a blaster for summer 2013

Son of Dave – Hot Summer Nights (2013

The master of the loop pedal, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing the man live – and that’s an experience to be sure. Replete with suitcase full of blues harps, a variety of shakers and the ubiquitous loop pedal, Mr Darvill’s stage set isn’t so much a gig as an interactive happening; to all intents and purposes, an art form.

But I’m off track. “Hot summer nights” says everything about summer that I need it to. I am a child of the summer, born of June and therefore alive in heat, dead in cold. Nights in shorts with a cold beer and a warm wind, the fragrance of jasmine in the air and the promise of unbroken sunshine on the morrow is what it’s all about for me. And this song takes me to that place and time even when I’m a million miles away from it.

25 songs in 25 days #6

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 6 – a song that reminds me of a best friend

Pharrell Williams – Happy (2014)

My absolute best friend and soul mate is Sally, my wife. We’ve known each other for over 36 years and have been married for 35 of the them. And, whereas there are many songs I could have chosen from the past, this one’s bang up to date and remains one of her faves. So of course, whenever it gets airplay or is put back on the stereo at home, it’s Sal who immediately springs to mind. She makes me happy, so here’s a bit of ‘happy’ for you…

 

25 songs in 25 days #5

One song per day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 5 – a song that is often stuck in my head

I am kloot – From your favourite sky (2003)

Why? Quite simply for two reasons – the beautifully crafted song and the exquisite lyrics. This is (to my mind) the perfect song. Faultless.

Here’s a vid…

…and here’s the lyrics so you, like I, can sing along (again).

Do you dare take a breath
Do you dream of a tragic death, I know you do
Do you wail, do you weep
You sing yourself to sleep, you delicate flower

And so what is love? And who am I
To dare to pull the stars from your favorite sky

You were born forth from joy, you’re every girl and boy
You know you are, you know you are
And you dress like a dame and you burn on a catholic flame
By the hours, by the hours

And so what is love? And who am I?
To dare to pull the stars from your favorite sky

You possess, s’avoir faire, put cheap bleach on your hair
You know you do, you know you do
Do you dare take a breath
You dream of a tragic death, you delicate flower

And so what is love? And who am I?
To dare to pull the stars from your favorite sky

And so what is love? And who am I?
To dare to pull the stars from your favorite sky
From your favorite sky