Thursday, August 13, 2009

wild horses

45 The Velvet Underground,
'I'm Waiting For The Man';
46 The Rolling Stones, ‘Wild Horses’

With only five songs to go I now have to consider what I’ll be leaving out and what five to include. I haven’t really followed any cohesive plan along the way. I’ve only had a few songs peculating at any one time and certainly not five. My modus operandi has been to wait till inspiration hits and then the entry pretty much writes itself.

For the final five, I'm pretty sure there won't be any rap, hip hop or funk, or classical, or opera, or House, or Techno, or 'world' music. I just don't like those forms/genres. There are only a couple of rap songs that I can bear to hear twice -Nelly's Ride Wit Me definitely, and maybe Eric B and Rakim...maybe. But that's it. Funk is a genre that is something of a mystery to me. At the risk of sounding like my parents complaints about Led Zeppelin, it's the mindless repetition within the funk form, as with Techno and House, that fails to move me. As far as I'm concerned Opera and Cradle Of Filth style death metal are one and the same - unlistenable, and I enjoy the baroque style of classical music but more for appeasing Jacky when she's sick of hearing Dwight Yokam.

So, the final five will in all likelihood be quality pop music. That's that settled.

For some time I've been thinking about another conundrum. I have been wondering what to end my list with.

An early thought was that the 49th song needed to bookend my first one (The Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down) by contrasting with it. The Velvet Underground and Stones were contenders for some time because, to me, they are the polar opposite of the fabs. But in the end I've chosen a more appropriate way to finish. Instead you get VU and the Stones now.

An early post on this blog dealt with my feelings about The Velvet Underground, and my belief that everyone’s musical taste can be ultimately tracked back to either The Beatles or The Velvet Underground, who I contend are at the opposite ends of the pop spectrum.

In terms of opposites they fit the bill all over the place – different continents, very different musical processes, different artistic sensibilities. I mean, could you EVER imagine a Beatle song titled 'The Black Angel's Death Song' , and George Martin couldn’t be further removed from Andy Warhol really, could he?

I know The Velvet Underground & Nico is often on people's best ever classic album lists but it doesn't do a lot for me. Mainly because Lou Reed hasn't established his dominance yet, the quality of Sweet Jane and Pale Blue Eyes were some way off, and there was way too much of Nico for my taste. I'm Waiting For The Man though is an excellent slab of dirty guitar and Lou's whiney voice is perfect for this little tale of Lou waiting for his drug connection who's dressed in black with a big straw hat.

As for the Stones - well they're the Antichrist aren't they? Drug deranged child molesters and evil incarnate. Mick is the horned one (and the horny one), while Keef IS the skull ring. Again - can you imagine Macca decked out in one of them?

All very simplistic stuff. The superb neo-country of Wild Horses gives the lie to all that. The image of Keef lying on the floor listening to a playback in the Gimme Shelter movie immediately tells you that the human riff has soul (man). God bless him!

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